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
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

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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 The queue, which wound past the entrance to Freeman Coliseum and doubled back toward the front of the line, had a nearly two-hour wait. Lauren Caruba, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio’s coronavirus positivity rate spikes to 19.2 percent as COVID-19 hospitalizations approach summer levels," 28 Dec. 2020 By lunchtime on December 21st, the Road Haulage Association (RHA), a trade body, said the queue of lorries on the M20 to Dover was several miles long. The Economist, "How covid-19 and Brexit combined to isolate Britain," 21 Dec. 2020 The queue of listings and investor appetite for new stock show no signs of slowing even as the year comes to a close. Julia Fioretti, Bloomberg.com, "China Inc.’s IPO Haul From the U.S. and at Home Tops Records," 15 Dec. 2020 Huge electric raptor paddock fencing looms near the queue. Orlando Sentinel Podcasts, orlandosentinel.com, "PODCAST: Excitement grows as Universal’s VelociCoaster ride vehicle, raptor paddock come into view (Ep. 77)," 10 Dec. 2020 As of last week, there were 268 corpses in overflow cooling trailers, a queue of 600 deaths waiting to be investigated, and a 15.5 percent positivity rate. Washington Post, "A Kraken is loose in America," 10 Dec. 2020 Throughout the Milky Way can be found groups of stars appearing to move in an orderly queue, known as stellar streams. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, "Fresh Data from Gaia Galaxy Survey Gives Best Map Ever of the Milky Way," 7 Dec. 2020 The Convention Center’s testing area recently moved indoors, but the queue of patients still forms outdoors to ensure that too many people aren’t in the building at once, Callahan said. Christine Condon, baltimoresun.com, "Getting a coronavirus test in Maryland? Prepare for a wait as cases surge and Thanksgiving approaches.," 19 Nov. 2020 His application for unemployment benefits from Florida has never made it through the system’s queue. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump signs stimulus and government spending bill into law, averting shutdown," 28 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In the parking garage, the health system has expanded to six lanes for vehicles to queue up for testing. Kenneth R. Gosselin, courant.com, "Hartford’s convention center ramps up on the front lines of battle in COVID-19 health crisis," 28 Dec. 2020 Those looking for a getaway, queue up some Tracy Chapman to find yourself dreaming of long car rides on the open road. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "20 of the Best Sleeping Songs to Listen to When You’re Lying Awake at Night," 26 Dec. 2020 Such is Cantus' growing international reputation that increasingly outstanding singers seem to queue up whenever there's an opening. Rob Hubbard, Star Tribune, "Minnesota chorus rises to the occasion once again in 'Christmas With Cantus'," 11 Dec. 2020 But light technicians, grips and actors won’t be the first to gentrify the area, where cement mixers continue to queue at concrete plants. New York Times, "Lights, Camera, Construction!," 4 Dec. 2020 Locals queue up to pick out fresh fruit, pastries, and clothes donated by supermarket giants Marks & Spencer, Asda, and Morrisons that would otherwise end up in landfill. Shafi Musaddique, The Christian Science Monitor, "Soccer star leads an awakening on child hunger in Britain," 23 Nov. 2020 By requiring reservations, the parks can better operate safely and avoid long lines as visitors queue up for health screenings before entering. Mike Freeman, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego Zoo, Safari Park to require reservations because of pandemic," 2 Dec. 2020 So make some cocoa, queue up A Christmas Prince, and screenshot our favorite Christmas nails away. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "47 Christmas Nails and Holiday Nail Designs You’ll Actually Want to Wear," 27 Nov. 2020 With more and more of us spending more time in front of the TV than ever before (no judgment), having a solid streaming device at the ready to queue up your favorite movies and TV shows is crucial. Arielle Tschinkel, USA TODAY, "Amazon Black Friday deal: Get the all-new Fire Stick at Its Black Friday 2020 price," 20 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for queue

Time Traveler

The first known use of queue was in 1748

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Statistics for queue

Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Queue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/queue. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for queue

queue

noun
How to pronounce queue (audio)

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)

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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