Etymology
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summons (n.)

"authoritative call to be at a certain place for a certain purpose," late 13c., from Old French sumunse, noun use of fem. past participle of somondre (see summon (v.)). As a verb from 1650s.

updated on December 28, 2013

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Definitions of summons from WordNet
1
summons (n.)
a request to be present;
Synonyms: bidding
summons (n.)
an order to appear in person at a given place and time;
summons (n.)
a writ issued by authority of law; usually compels the defendant's attendance in a civil suit; failure to appear results in a default judgment against the defendant;
Synonyms: process
2
summons (v.)
call in an official matter, such as to attend court;
Synonyms: summon / cite
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.