Definition of subpoena in English:


Syllabification: sub·poe·na
Pronunciation: /səˈpēnə


(in full subpoena ad testificandum)
  • A writ ordering a person to attend a court: a subpoena may be issued to compel their attendance they were all under subpoena to appear
    More example sentences
    • Even if it is a US bank which is ordered by a US subpoena, other common law courts have applied traditional conflict-of-laws analysis.
    • Further, the day-to-day administration of criminal justice functions with many witnesses who are not under subpoena and who attend voluntarily to give evidence.
    • It held that if an individual does not comply with a subpoena or order issued by the Tribunal, he could be held in contempt of the Tribunal and the specific contempt procedure could be set in motion.

verb (subpoenas, subpoenaing, subpoenaed /-nəd/)

[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Summon (someone) with a subpoena: the Queen is above the law and cannot be subpoenaed
    More example sentences
    • The appellant was unable to subpoena the necessary witnesses.
    • In addition, in July several people were subpoenaed to testify about their protest activities before a grand jury convened in Missouri.
    • Your office could do more, the witnesses were not subpoenaed and brought along, and the magistrate is sure to have plenty to do.
  • 1.1Require (a document or other evidence) to be submitted to a court of law: the decision to subpoena government records
    More example sentences
    • It doesn't have the power to subpoena documents, evidence, or testimony, either.
    • Criminal defendants, like civil defendants, should be able to freely conduct depositions, subpoena documents and witnesses, and serve interrogatories.
    • My learned friend took you to an early stage of the proceedings where the accused had subpoenaed documents.


late Middle English (as a noun): from Latin sub poena 'under penalty' (the first words of the writ). Use as a verb dates from the mid 17th century.

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Pronunciation: mɪˈlɔːd
used to address an English nobleman