\ ˈkwēn How to pronounce queen (audio) \
plural queens

Definition of queen

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the wife or widow of a king
b : the wife or widow of a tribal chief
2a : a female monarch
b : a female chieftain
3a : a woman eminent in rank, power, or attractions a movie queen
b : a goddess or a thing personified as female and having supremacy in a specified realm
c : an attractive girl or woman especially : a beauty contest winner
4 : the most privileged piece of each color in a set of chessmen having the power to move in any direction across any number of unoccupied squares
5 : a playing card marked with a stylized figure of a queen
6 : the fertile fully developed female of social bees, wasps, ants, and termites whose function is to lay eggs
7 : a mature female cat kept especially for breeding
8 slang, often disparaging : a gay man especially : an effeminate one


queened; queening; queens

Definition of queen (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to act like a queen especially : to put on airs usually used with it queens it over her friends
2 : to become a queen in chess the pawn queens

transitive verb

: to promote (a pawn) to a queen in chess

Synonyms for queen

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of queen in a Sentence

Noun She was crowned queen of England. the reign of Queen Elizabeth the king and his queen the queen of the blues She was voted queen of the prom. This ship is the queen of all the ocean liners. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While Jon is bound to leadership by a sense of duty, Daenerys sees herself as a liberator, a queen steeped in moral righteousness who freed slaves across the sea for the greater good. David Sims, The Atlantic, 14 July 2017 THE TRENDSETTER Salt & Straw is the homecoming queen of ice cream in LA. Cole Kazdin, Los Angeles Magazine, 14 July 2017 One archetypal medieval gown in deep ultramarine velvet had structured straps diagonally across the bust, leading the eye down to floor length slit sleeves — styles worn by queens in court. Thomas Adamson, The Seattle Times, 5 July 2017 And then there's a forthcoming new album with his band The Good, The Band & The Queen that features the Clash's Paul Simonon, Simon Tong and Tony Allen. Dan Hyman, chicagotribune.com, 5 July 2017 Kings, queens and governments from around the world contributed bulbs, plants and statuary representing their country's culture, such as a Chinese bridge, and woodcarvings from Norway. Joan Dittmann, Post-Tribune, 5 July 2017 Leanne is running out of money to pay for her dream of making her 11-year-old daughter, Patty (Ursula Parker), a pageant queen. Rick Bentley, kansascity.com, 5 July 2017 Shawl: Tru Blue silk queen kimono, $242, Planet Blue. star-telegram.com, 5 July 2017 Imagine one person tells you that his ideal form of government would be to get rid of the Constitution and make Kim Kardashian queen. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, 5 July 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb People even flocked to Twitter to show the country queen some love. Chaise Sanders, Country Living, 10 Mar. 2022 The award show's account even wished the country queen a happy birthday with some throwback photos of Dolly's iconic looks throughout the years. Chaise Sanders, Country Living, 8 Feb. 2022 Legend has it that Tzul celebrated his victory by crowning himself king with the crown of St. Joseph and his wife, Felipa Soc, queen with the crown of St.Cecília, according to Ramírez-Figueroa. Caroline Tien, San Antonio Express-News, 19 Nov. 2021 Style up your leggings like the Skims queen herself and be a Kardashian for a night. Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY, 13 Oct. 2021 The last dance, last chance, to skate, as disco queen Donna Summer would put it, is on May 8. Richard Chin, Star Tribune, 22 Apr. 2021 Giving either queen the victory or the loss would have been warranted. Brian Moylan, Vulture, 4 Mar. 2021 There would have been no Elton John, queening in front of millions, or David Bowie, who freely credited Little Richard’s inspiration. New York Times, 11 May 2020 As expected, fans were thrilled to see the country queen grace their television screens looking as fierce as ever. Erin Cavoto, Country Living, 27 Jan. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of queen


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


1611, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for queen


Middle English quene, from Old English cwēn woman, wife, queen; akin to Goth qens wife, Greek gynē woman, Sanskrit jani

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Time Traveler for queen

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

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Dictionary Entries Near queen



queen's arm

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Cite this Entry

“Queen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/queen. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for queen


\ ˈkwēn How to pronounce queen (audio) \

Kids Definition of queen

1 : a woman who rules a country or kingdom
2 : the wife or widow of a king
3 : a woman or girl who is highly respected or well-known within a field the queen of the blues
4 : the most powerful piece in the game of chess
5 : a playing card bearing the figure of a queen
6 : a fully developed adult female insect (as a bee, ant, or termite) that lays eggs

Other Words from queen

queenly adjective queenly posture

More from Merriam-Webster on queen

Nglish: Translation of queen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of queen for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about queen


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