\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for queen

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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, "How Will the Game of Thrones Be Won?," 14 July 2017 THE TRENDSETTER Salt & Straw is the homecoming queen of ice cream in LA. Cole Kazdin, Los Angeles Magazine, "5 Places to Celebrate National Ice Cream Day, Which is a Very Important Day," 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, "Fendi stuns with Jenner and Hadid fur show to cap couture," 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, "Gorillaz leader Damon Albarn won't sit still," 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, "Native American heritage on display in Michigan City," 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, "‘Austin Found’ gets at the dark side of the desire for fame," 5 July 2017 Shawl: Tru Blue silk queen kimono, $242, Planet Blue. star-telegram.com, "Dress for the Fest: Festival fads include bold accessories, bright colors, floral patterns," 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, "When Would You Stop Loving America?," 5 July 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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, "No Prince Without the King," 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, "Shania Twain Showed Up to the Grammys and Everyone Went Nuts," 27 Jan. 2020 However, the monarch has been showing the future queens the royal ropes, including an outing in March when Kate joined Queen Elizabeth at King’s College’s Strand campus for their first-ever joint appearance. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall Forced to Miss Library Gala Dinner After Contracting Chest Infection," 6 Nov. 2019 Just as Turner grew up in front of the camera on the hit HBO series, so did Sansa, who went from child to woman to queen on the show. Kaitlin Reilly, refinery29.com, "The Game Of Thrones Period Scene Was the Most Embarrassing Moment Of Sophie Turner's Career," 10 June 2019 Jason Blossom, twin brother to queen bee, Cheryl Blossom, was killed by his own dad, Clifford Blossom after learning of his dad's drug-trafficking business. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Every "Riverdale" Character That's Been Killed Off," 10 May 2019 The nuptials between Suits queen Meghan Markle and ginger Prince Harry — dubbed by the Cut as Royal Wedding 2.0 — are rapidly approaching. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "Everything You Need to Know About Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Wedding," 16 May 2018 The nuptials between Suits queen Meghan Markle and ginger Prince Harry — dubbed by the Cut as Royal Wedding 2.0 — are rapidly approaching. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "Everything You Need to Know About Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Wedding," 16 May 2018 The nuptials between Suits queen Meghan Markle and ginger Prince Harry — dubbed by the Cut as Royal Wedding 2.0 — are rapidly approaching. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "Everything You Need to Know About Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Wedding," 16 May 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about queen

Time Traveler for queen

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for queen

Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Queen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/queen. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for queen



English Language Learners Definition of queen

: a woman who rules a country and who usually inherits her position and rules for life
: the wife of a king
: a girl or woman who is highly respected and very successful or popular


\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on queen

What made you want to look up queen? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!