queue

noun
\ ˈkyü How to pronounce queue (audio) \

Definition of queue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a braid of hair usually worn hanging at the back of the head
2 : a waiting line especially of persons or vehicles
3a : 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

queue

verb
\ ˈkyü How to pronounce queue (audio) \
queued; queuing or queueing

Definition of queue (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to arrange or form in a queue (see queue entry 1)

intransitive verb

: to line up or wait in a queue often used with up

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Other Words from queue

Verb

queuer noun

Synonyms for queue

Synonyms: Noun

column, cue, file, line, range, string, train

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Is it que, queue, or q?

One of our persistent—and more puzzling—lookups is for the word que, which is entered in our dictionary (capitalized) as an abbreviation for Quebec. Qué is also a Spanish word that means “what.” That is not, however, the word that many people are looking for when they look up que in our dictionary. Que is homophonous with a number of other words, most of which have wildly different spellings and meanings. One of the words that people are looking for when they look up que is queue, a word that means “line” (as in, “We waited in the ticket queue.”) Sometimes people are looking for the homonym cue, or “a signal to start or do something” (“The lights just went out—that’s my cue to start the movie.”). Very occasionally, people look up que for coup, a word that refers to a violent and sudden overthrow or takeover of a government (“reports on the latest coup attempt”). And if you’re looking for the phonetic spelling of the letter q, try again: that’s cue.

Examples of queue in a Sentence

Noun

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 Around the time the Soviet Union ceased to exist, I was waiting in the entry queue at Fiumicino Airport in Rome when I noticed a party of several dozen young Russian girls being fast-tracked past a freshly opened control window. — Peter Robb, New York Times Book Review, 25 May 2008 But many more people deserve the Nobel than get it. Krauss should've gotten it years ago. Though by now so many other discoveries have been made that he's farther down in an ever increasing queue. — Carl Djerassi, Cantor's Dilemma, 1989 We were forced to stand in a queue. Three jobs remain in the printer queue.

Verb

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 Nothing hacks off a national lawmaker more than a person who will not wait in line, unless that line is in front of an elevator at the U.S. Capitol, where Senators and Representatives use private elevators, lest they have to queue with their constituents. — Steve Rushin, Time, 10 Sept. 2007 The crowd was queuing at the snack bar.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Structures slated for future renovation are located at 115 Seminary St. (first in the queue), 180 and 190 Beech St., 106 Jacob St. and 312 Eastland Road. Beth Mlady, cleveland.com, "Contractor change likely for city-funded project to rehab first of five former Berea rental homes," 11 Aug. 2019 The Red Devils are yet to make an offer, so Derby should try jump to the head of the queue. SI.com, "Wayne Rooney: 6 England Golden Generation Stars That Derby Should Sign Next," 6 Aug. 2019 Since no one picked up, the message was sent into a queue for another callback attempt, per DCFS practice. Elyssa Cherney, chicagotribune.com, "A police officer tried to report suspected child neglect to the state’s 24-hour hotline. He was told to leave a message and wait up to 4 days for a callback.," 2 Aug. 2019 The connection is also logistically smoother—analysts no longer need to wait for an operator who will let them onto the call or recite instructions on what numbers to press to get in the queue to ask questions. Michelle Cheng, Quartz, "The other big winner in Zoom’s IPO? The tired old quarterly earnings call," 24 June 2019 The architecture is sparse and modern, channeling travelers like mice through gray stone hallways, between metal railings and into queues. Jillian Kay Melchior, WSJ, "Is There a Crisis at the Border?," 5 Nov. 2018 The Gunners seemingly moved to the front of the queue for Pepe's signature with a shock £72m bid, although the move is far from complete as a number of European giants are considering late appeals to the Ivorian. SI.com, "Nicolas Pepe to Join Arsenal 'in Coming Days' But Late PSG Bid Could See Move Collapse," 29 July 2019 Once these leave your queue, check out all the titles coming to Netflix next month. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Leaving Netflix in August 2019: Say Goodbye to These 48 Movies and TV Shows," 24 July 2019 An attendant led me to a small intestine of a queue. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, "Was the Automotive Era a Terrible Mistake?," 22 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Over on the Braintree branch, Saba Ghaffar settled into a seat a little after 8 a.m. and prepped for the uncertain journey, queuing up music on her phone. BostonGlobe.com, "For Red Line commutes, a roll of the dice and branch determine timing," 6 Aug. 2019 On my recent visit, we were greeted by many happy people queuing up for BBQ. Sunset Staff, Sunset Magazine, "Pull This Pork, Dip That Chip, and 5 More Things to See & Do This Week," 29 July 2019 Those gathered snacked on risotto cakes, beef tenderloin carpaccio, and deviled quail eggs or queued up for old fashioneds, sidecars, or gin and tonic libations. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Slim Thug and Houston's party people toast LOUIS XIII Cognac and Pharrell Williams' song "100 Years"," 5 Mar. 2018 And yet there the protesters were, queuing in droves to pay for their train tickets in cash. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Why Hong Kong’s protesters were afraid to use their metro cards," 13 June 2019 For opening day of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventures, Islands of Adventure may open early to allow queuing for the ride, according to a post on the official Universal Orlando blog. Dewayne Bevil, orlandosentinel.com, "Universal: New Hagrid roller coaster may use Virtual Line," 8 June 2019 Now, all tickets are sold online and visitors queue up 15 minutes before their entry time. Nancy Nathan, Washington Post, "Can’t get into the Anne Frank House? Try the Dutch Resistance Museum.," 11 July 2019 In other areas, according to CBS News’ Arshad R. Zargar, bucket-wielding locals queue outside of government trucks and, when these trucks fail to meet demand for water, resort to purchasing water from expensive private vendors. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Satellite Images Reveal the Extent of Chennai’s Water Shortage," 5 July 2019 Last December, hundreds of Ofo users queued up outside its Beijing headquarters to ask for their deposits back. Jane Li, Quartz, "A court has revealed the sorry state of a Chinese bike-sharing startup once worth $2 billion," 19 June 2019

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

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First Known Use of queue

Noun

1748, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1777, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for queue

Noun and Verb

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

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Statistics for queue

Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for queue

The first known use of queue was in 1748

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More Definitions for queue

queue

noun

English Language Learners Definition of queue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

chiefly British : 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

queue

verb

English Language Learners Definition of queue (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly British : to form or wait in a line

queue

noun
\ ˈkyü How to pronounce queue (audio) \

Kids Definition of queue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : pigtail
2 : a waiting line There's a queue at the ticket window.

queue

verb
queued; queuing or queueing

Kids Definition of queue (Entry 2 of 2)

: to form or wait in a line People are queuing for tickets.

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More from Merriam-Webster on queue

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with queue

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for queue

Spanish Central: Translation of queue

Nglish: Translation of queue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of queue for Arabic Speakers

Comments on queue

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