\ 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


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

Other Words from queue


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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As Aguzin acknowledges, the long queue reflects companies’ reluctance to sell into a bear market. Clay Chandler, Fortune, 4 Aug. 2022 By the time Casas arrives, a long queue snakes through neighborhood streets with people waiting their turn. Bryan Avelar, BostonGlobe.com, 3 Aug. 2022 Members of the movie’s cast, including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Glenn Close and Bautista, make appearances in the queue and character voices are heard during the ride. Dewayne Bevil, Orlando Sentinel, 20 July 2022 Approach the last driver in the queue and demand a steep discount. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, 27 July 2022 Some of those who made their way through the queue when the doors opened, and before prices skyrocketed, were pleased with the initial ticket costs. Chris Willman, Variety, 20 July 2022 Saphe Shamoun, one of the D.J.s performing that night, gingerly approached two women in the queue. New York Times, 16 July 2022 On the Polish border, there’s a miles-long queue of cars waiting to reenter Ukraine. Noah Robertson, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 July 2022 Meanwhile, about 71% of applications are still in queue. Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press, 7 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Eugene’s 5th Street Public Market, a short walk from the Eugene Riverfront Festival, where crowds gathered to watch a live drag show and queue up for a zipline and shaved ice, was relatively quiet on Sunday afternoon. oregonlive, 18 July 2022 Last year, when supply chain wrangles were at their worst, the port saw dozens of ships queue up. Michael E. Kanell, ajc, 26 July 2022 The stifling heat has made mass testing all the more excruciating for residents -- some of whom have to queue for hours -- and for Covid workers, who are covered head to toe in airtight PPE equipment. Nectar Gan, CNN, 13 July 2022 City development staff note Gibbs and his partners plan to use a pre-order and appointment system during the first month of operation to ease crowds that could queue up outside the building. Kenneth R. Gosselin, Hartford Courant, 13 June 2022 Reducing staff, letting requests queue up and fast-tracking requests and closing them without validation might save money but at the user’s expense in time and work. Wai Wong, Forbes, 23 May 2022 However, unlike other major tournaments, Wimbledon sets aside a small amount of tickets for fans who queue—i.e., wait in line—every morning. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 3 July 2022 Travelers queue up move through the north security checkpoint in the main terminal of Denver International Airport, Thursday, May 26, 2022, in Denver. CBS News, 31 May 2022 Travelers queue up move through the north security checkpoint in the main terminal of Denver International Airport, Thursday, May 26, 2022, in Denver. CBS News, 31 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of queue


1748, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Queue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/queue. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for queue


\ 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.


queued; queuing or queueing

Kids Definition of queue (Entry 2 of 2)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on queue

Nglish: Translation of queue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of queue for Arabic Speakers


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