A summons is a request or order for someone to show up, especially for legal matters. You could get a summons to testify at a trial, for example.

When you summon someone, you're requesting the person to join you, essentially saying, "Come here!" Similarly, a summons asks for someone to appear. This could be a friendly request or invitation, like a summons to join some friends for a road trip, but the most common type of summons is official and legally binding. If you receive a summons to appear in court, you have to show up. Ignoring that kind of summons is a crime.

Definitions of summons

n a request to be present

Type of:
a request (spoken or written) to participate or be present or take part in something

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

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a summons that commands the appearance of a party at a proceeding
monition, process of monition
a summons issued after the filing of a libel or claim directing all parties concerned to show cause why the judgment asked for should not be granted
a summons issued to an offender (especially to someone who violates a traffic regulation)
speeding ticket
a ticket issued for driving above the speed limit
parking ticket
a ticket issued for parking in a restricted place
Type of:
judicial writ, writ
(law) a legal document issued by a court or judicial officer

n an order to appear in person at a given place and time

call up
an order to report for military duty
Type of:
(often plural) a command given by a superior (e.g., a military or law enforcement officer) that must be obeyed

v call in an official matter, such as to attend court

cite, summon
summon (a vouchee) into court to warrant or defend a title
summon to court
Type of:
call, send for
order, request, or command to come

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