subpoena

[suh-pee-nuh, suhb-] Law.
noun
1.
the usual writ for the summoning of witnesses or the submission of evidence, as records or documents, before a court or other deliberative body.
verb (used with object), subpoenaed, subpoenaing.
2.
to serve with a subpoena.
Also, subpena.


Origin:
1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin sub poenā under penalty (the first words of the writ)

unsubpoenaed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
subpoena (səbˈpiːnə)
 
n
1.  a writ issued by a court of justice requiring a person to appear before the court at a specified time
 
vb , -nas, -naing, -naed
2.  (tr) to serve with a subpoena
 
[C15: from Latin: under penalty]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

subpoena
1422, sub pena, from M.L. sub poena "under penalty," the first words of the writ commanding the presence of someone under penalty of failure, from L. sub "under" + poena, ablative of poena "penalty" (see penal). The verb is attested from 1640.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
subpoena [(suh-pee-nuh)]

An order of a court, a legislature, or a grand jury compelling a witness to be present at a trial or hearing, under penalty of fine or imprisonment. Subpoena is Latin for “under penalty.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
It will have powers of search and seizure, to subpoena witnesses and to compel them to answer questions.
They could hold hearings and subpoena people and give them immunity.
He used his subpoena power to put people on the stand for day after day.
It has subpoena power, but so far all witnesses have volunteered to appear
  under oath.
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