noun \ˈkyü\

: a line of people who are waiting for something

computers : a series of instructions that are stored in a computer so that they can be processed later

Full Definition of QUEUE

:  a braid of hair usually worn hanging at the back of the head
:  a waiting line especially of persons or vehicles
a :  a sequence of messages or jobs held in temporary storage awaiting transmission or processing
b :  a data structure that consists of a list of records such that records are added at one end and removed from the other

Examples of QUEUE

  1. We were forced to stand in a queue.
  2. Three jobs remain in the printer queue.
  3. The Tiong Bahru hawker center in Singapore might well be my favorite place in the world to start the day. I remember vividly my first visit: I arrived jetlagged and hungry at seven in the morning to find vendors stir-frying greens in gigantic woks, sending up whooshes of smoke fragrant with garlic. Long queues of businessmen and construction workers and families who likely lived in the nearby housing projects snaked from the cash register of each stall. —James Oseland, Saveur, October 2008

Origin of QUEUE

French, literally, tail, from Old French cue, coe, Latin cauda, coda
First Known Use: 1748

Other Computer-Related Terms

adware, flash, kludge, phishing, recursive, router


verb \ˈkyü\

: to form or wait in a line

queuedqueu·ing or queue·ing

Full Definition of QUEUE

transitive verb
:  to arrange or form in a queue (see 1queue)
intransitive verb
:  to line up or wait in a queue —often used with up
queu·er noun

Examples of QUEUE

  1. The crowd was queuing at the snack bar.
  2. The World's Food Fair, Boston. October 1896. Admission: 25 cents. Huge crowds throng the Mechanics Hall convention center. Women queue up for free samples from 200 different vendors: cereals, gelatins, extracts, candy, and custards. —Christopher Kimball, Cook's Illustrated, January & February 2008

Origin of QUEUE

(see 1queue)
First Known Use: 1777


Next Word in the Dictionary: queuing theoryPrevious Word in the Dictionary: QuetzalcoatlAll Words Near: queue
May 22, 2015
nepotism Hear it
favoritism based on kinship
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears