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To elicit or evoke something; to uncover and draw forth something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "summon" and "up." I just couldn't summon the courage up to confront my boss about the issue. His memory is remarkable—he can summon up the most mundane details from weeks ago.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
summon something up
to call forth particular qualities, such as strength, courage, wisdom, etc. She summoned her courage up and went into the room. Liz summoned up all her courage.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
To call something forth; evoke something: I summoned up my courage and dove into the deep water. At first I couldn't remember the telephone number, but I summoned it up by concentrating very hard.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.