queue

noun
\ˈkyü \

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 \
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

First in the queue was a male fashion photographer. Kevin Roose, New York Times, "Can ‘Illuminati Tinder’ Save Us All?," 27 June 2018 Five men with English accents worked as a group, splitting up to approach fans in the queue for the sales office. Washington Post, "Scalpers still operating at World Cup despite crackdown," 14 June 2018 Six governors responded with several projects each, but administration officials could not say whether any but one were put in a queue for expedited review. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Trump has failed to appoint officials needed to speed his infrastructure plans," 7 June 2018 The queues snaked down London's Regent's Street on Friday as Nigeria fans waited to get their hands on the jersey. Stephanie Busari And Chris Giles, CNN, "Nigeria World Cup kit sells out in minutes as fakes flood Lagos markets," 1 June 2018 There are city-block queues of eaters out there who live for limited time offers, for trick candle food that’s here one day and gone the next. Catherine Cusick, Longreads, "The Best Food Is Somewhere Else," 14 Mar. 2018 The mostly eastern European drivers, few of whom speak English, let alone Norwegian, then queue to have their papers checked. The Economist, "Norway’s border shows the problems Brexit could create in Ireland," 24 Feb. 2018 At one end of the island is the famous Southernmost Point Buoy, which always has an orderly queue of tourists waiting to pose for a picture. Julia Sayers, AL.com, "Plan the perfect winter getaway in Key West," 29 Jan. 2018 Late-night partying — or just blowing through your Netflix queue — causes more than dark circles. Krista Bennett Demaio, Cosmopolitan, "9 Beauty Fails That Mess With Your Skin (and How to Fix Them)," 2 Jan. 2015

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

To him, this feels tantamount to divulging state secrets, even though anyone in the NHL can queue up his greatest hits on YouTube or Hudl. Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "With Technique, Timing and Power, Brent Burns is the San Jose Sharks' Shot Machine," 11 Jan. 2018 Schmid is a brunette assistant program director at the Center for the Creative Arts with an intricate arm tattoo, calm demeanor and a mind constantly queuing up possibilities. Washington Post, "Best friends take First State Flea market on the road," 6 July 2018 Sizeable regional parties, having digested this lesson, are queuing up to strike pacts with Congress. The Economist, "A series of reversals forces India’s newest chief minister from office," 19 May 2018 His performances have earned him a number of admirers who could be queuing up for his signature this summer. SI.com, "Inter Consider Contract Extension for Milan Skriniar After Rejecting Manchester United Bid," 17 June 2018 Really angry, queuing up and yet get hit by the people cutting in line. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Balenciaga Responds to Racial Discrimination Claims," 27 Apr. 2018 But scores of visitors to the National Museum of African American History and Culture still queue up. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "The national African-American museum still stirs the soul — and drops hints of what to expect at the Obama Presidential Center," 11 July 2018 In Los Angeles, a line of teenage boys perpetually queues up outside the Supreme store on Fairfax Avenue, outfitted in legit streetwear. Courtney Coffman, The Atlantic, "Shops Aren’t for Shopping Anymore," 19 June 2018 Not many people filled the beds, but every day 1,000 or so queued at the outpatient counter or at the pharmacy. The Economist, "Lina Puthussery died of the Nipah virus on May 21st," 31 May 2018

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

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

Verb

see queue entry 1

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Statistics for queue

Last Updated

24 Oct 2018

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)

: 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)

: to form or wait in a line

queue

noun
\ˈkyü \

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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Comments on queue

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