cue

1 of 5

noun (1)

: the letter q

cue

2 of 5

noun (2)

1
a
: a signal (such as a word, phrase, or bit of stage business) to a performer to begin a specific speech or action
That last line is your cue to exit the stage.
b
: something serving a comparable purpose : hint
I'll take that yawn as my cue to leave.
2
: a feature indicating the nature of something perceived
The expressions on people's faces give us visual cues about their feelings.
3
archaic : the part one has to perform in or as if in a play
4
archaic : mood, humor

cue

3 of 5

verb (1)

cued; cuing or cueing

transitive verb

1
: to give a cue to : prompt
cued the band to begin
2
: to insert into a continuous performance
cue in sound effects

cue

4 of 5

noun (3)

1
a
: a leather-tipped tapering rod for striking the cue ball (as in billiards and pool)
b
: a long-handled instrument with a concave head for shoving disks in shuffleboard
2

cue

5 of 5

verb (2)

cued; cuing or cueing

transitive verb

1
: queue
2
: to strike with a cue

intransitive verb

1
: queue
2
: to use a cue

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English cu half a farthing (spelled form of q, abbreviation for Latin quadrans quarter of an as)

Noun (2) and Verb (1)

probably from qu, abbreviation (used as a direction in actors' copies of plays) of Latin quando when

Noun (3) and Verb (2)

French queue, literally, tail, from Old French cue, coe, queue, from Latin cauda

First Known Use

Noun (1)

circa 1755, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1553, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (1)

1922, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (3)

circa 1749, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (2)

circa 1784, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cue was in 1553

Dictionary Entries Near cue

Cite this Entry

“Cue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cue. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

cue 1 of 3

noun

1
: a word, phrase, or action in a play serving as a signal for the next actor to speak or do something
2
: something serving as a signal or suggestion : hint

cue

2 of 3

verb

cued; cuing
: to give a cue to

cue

3 of 3

noun

1
: a tapering rod used in playing billiards or pool
2

Medical Definition

: a minor stimulus acting as an indication of the nature of the perceived object or situation
foreshortened lines in the picture are cues to depth perception

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