First attested with this spelling in 1623 CE, from earlier subpena, from Middle English sub pena, from Medieval Latin: sub (“under”) and poena (“penalty”), the beginning of the original subpoena used in the Court of Chancery.
- (law, historical) A writ requiring a defendant to appear in court to answer a plaintiff's claim.
- (law) A writ requiring someone to appear in court to give testimony.
The most common plural form is subpoenas. Subpoenae is a hypercorrection as the word is not derived from a Latin noun *subpœna, *subpœnæ, but from the Latin phrase sub pœna, and therefore has no Latin plural.
- (transitive) To summon with a subpoena.
subpoena m (plural subpoenas)
- (Canadian and US law) subpoena