Middle English Dictionary Entry

somnǒur n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

1.
(a) An officer of an ecclesiastical court responsible for citing persons to appear, an apparitor; also, an officer of an archdeacon; (b) an officer of a secular court responsible for citing persons to appear or for calling jurors; (c) = (a) or (b); ~ hors, ?a summoner's horse; -- prob. error for somer hors, s.v. somer n.(2) 1.(a); (d) an officer of a guild responsible for assembling the members; (e) a nun in charge of ringing a bell to call others to a religious service [quots. a1500]; also, a bell, stone, or clapper used for calling people to church; also used fig. of death, old age, sickness, or tribulation as a summoner of man or the soul; ~ of pope, ?a messenger sent by the Pope to summon a person into his presence in Rome; (f) as surname and in place name.