\ ˈkiŋ How to pronounce king (audio) \

Definition of king

1a : a male monarch of a major territorial unit especially : one whose position is hereditary and who rules for life
b : a paramount chief
2 capitalized : god, christ … to worship the King, the Lord of hosts … — Zechariah 14:16 (Revised Standard Version)
3 : one that holds a preeminent position especially : a chief among competitors the cattle kings rode up from the south — Alan Moorehead even if no longer king, cotton remains the chief cash crop — Howell Walker
4 : the principal piece of each color in chess having the power to move ordinarily one square in any direction and to capture opposing pieces but being obliged never to enter or remain in check
5 : a playing card marked with a stylized figure of a king
6 : a checker that has been crowned

Examples of king in a Sentence

He pledged his loyalty to the king and queen. the reign of King James He became king at a young age. He's widely regarded as the king of soul music. He was voted king of the prom. The lion is known as the king of the jungle. She won the game by checkmating his king. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The streaming king is already profitable, with net income of $1.6 billion in the first quarter of 2022. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 12 May 2022 In just under a minute, Radcliffe’s transformation into the parody king is complete. Spin Staff, SPIN, 3 May 2022 The first big king was Richard Childress Racing with 12 victories. al, 22 Apr. 2022 The Vegas rave king is back, and bringing an explosion of energy big enough to set the sky on fire. Billboard Staff, Billboard, 15 Apr. 2022 The king’s brother is the aforementioned Fjölnir the Brotherless (Claes Bang), which may give you a clue as to how. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 11 Apr. 2022 The king — among whose accomplishments was moving the Thai capital to its present location — was pleased. New York Times, 2 Apr. 2022 While the king of the data hill has long been third-party data, zero-party data is quickly becoming a challenger. Yec, Forbes, 14 Mar. 2022 Firefly is a dog-friendly A-frame cabin and can sleep up to five people with a room with a king bed and a loft with a queen and two twin beds. Rachel Chang, Travel + Leisure, 2 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'king.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of king

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for king

Middle English, from Old English cyning; akin to Old High German kuning king, Old English cynn kin

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Time Traveler for king

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The first known use of king was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“King.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for king


\ ˈkiŋ How to pronounce king (audio) \

Kids Definition of king

1 : a male ruler of a country who usually inherits his position and rules for life
2 : a person or thing that is better or more important than all others the king of jazz
3 : the chief piece in the game of chess
4 : a playing card bearing the picture of a king
5 : a piece in checkers that has reached the opponent's back row

King biographical name (1)

\ ˈkiŋ How to pronounce King (audio) \

Definition of King

 (Entry 1 of 8)

B. B. 1925–2015 originally Riley B. King American blues musician


biographical name (2)

Definition of King (Entry 2 of 8)

Billie Jean 1943–     née Moffitt American tennis player


biographical name (3)

Definition of King (Entry 3 of 8)

Ernest Joseph 1878–1956 American admiral


biographical name (4)

Definition of King (Entry 4 of 8)

Martin Luther, Jr. 1929–1968 American clergyman and civil rights leader


biographical name (5)

Definition of King (Entry 5 of 8)

Rufus 1755–1827 American politician and diplomat


biographical name (6)

Definition of King (Entry 6 of 8)

Stephen (Edwin) 1947–     American writer


biographical name (7)

Definition of King (Entry 7 of 8)

William Lyon Mackenzie 1874–1950 Canadian statesman; prime minister (1921–26; 1926–30; 1935–48)


biographical name (8)

Definition of King (Entry 8 of 8)

William Rufus de Vane 1786–1853 American politician; vice president of the U.S. (1853)

More from Merriam-Webster on king

Nglish: Translation of king for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of king for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about king


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