\ ˈkiŋ How to pronounce king (audio) \

Definition of king

1a : a male monarch of a major territorial unit especially : one whose position is hereditary and who rules for life
b : a paramount chief
2 capitalized : god, christ … to worship the King, the Lord of hosts … — Zechariah 14:16 (Revised Standard Version)
3 : one that holds a preeminent position especially : a chief among competitors the cattle kings rode up from the south — Alan Moorehead even if no longer king, cotton remains the chief cash crop — Howell Walker
4 : the principal piece of each color in chess having the power to move ordinarily one square in any direction and to capture opposing pieces but being obliged never to enter or remain in check
5 : a playing card marked with a stylized figure of a king
6 : a checker that has been crowned

Examples of king in a Sentence

He pledged his loyalty to the king and queen. the reign of King James He became king at a young age. He's widely regarded as the king of soul music. He was voted king of the prom. The lion is known as the king of the jungle. She won the game by checkmating his king. See More
Recent Examples on the Web This Vrbo is a one room cabin that includes the jacuzzi, a king size bed and a gorgeous fireplace to tie it all together. Josie Howell |, al, 3 Aug. 2022 Each tent has a bathroom, a king-size bed, a wood-burning stove, and views of John’s Valley. Graham Averill, Outside Online, 1 Aug. 2022 At home, the brothers share a single king-size bed. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, 25 July 2022 Most of the rooms in the villa include a king-size bed (with televisions that are subtly hidden within the bedframes), except for one that has two sets of twin bunk beds that sleeps up to four people. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 21 July 2022 Through most of the year, the king-size slab felt comfortable and supportive. Sal Vaglica, WSJ, 15 July 2022 Beside the king-size bed is a fish sculpture crafted from metal fabric, and a wooden one hovers over the headboard. Jeanine Barone, Forbes, 27 June 2022 The three-piece large fabric bins can hold up to one king size comforter, six blankets, or 35 pieces of clothing per bag. Lily Gray, Better Homes & Gardens, 17 June 2022 This set comes with two twin air mattresses that can be used individually, attached to one another to make a king-size bed, or stacked to make a double height bed. Rachel Klein, Popular Mechanics, 15 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of king

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for king

Middle English, from Old English cyning; akin to Old High German kuning king, Old English cynn kin

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Time Traveler for king

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“King.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for king


\ ˈkiŋ How to pronounce king (audio) \

Kids Definition of king

1 : a male ruler of a country who usually inherits his position and rules for life
2 : a person or thing that is better or more important than all others the king of jazz
3 : the chief piece in the game of chess
4 : a playing card bearing the picture of a king
5 : a piece in checkers that has reached the opponent's back row

King biographical name (1)

\ ˈkiŋ How to pronounce King (audio) \

Definition of King

 (Entry 1 of 8)

B. B. 1925–2015 originally Riley B. King American blues musician


biographical name (2)

Definition of King (Entry 2 of 8)

Billie Jean 1943–     née Moffitt American tennis player


biographical name (3)

Definition of King (Entry 3 of 8)

Ernest Joseph 1878–1956 American admiral


biographical name (4)

Definition of King (Entry 4 of 8)

Martin Luther, Jr. 1929–1968 American clergyman and civil rights leader


biographical name (5)

Definition of King (Entry 5 of 8)

Rufus 1755–1827 American politician and diplomat


biographical name (6)

Definition of King (Entry 6 of 8)

Stephen (Edwin) 1947–     American writer


biographical name (7)

Definition of King (Entry 7 of 8)

William Lyon Mackenzie 1874–1950 Canadian statesman; prime minister (1921–26; 1926–30; 1935–48)


biographical name (8)

Definition of King (Entry 8 of 8)

William Rufus de Vane 1786–1853 American politician; vice president of the U.S. (1853)

More from Merriam-Webster on king

Nglish: Translation of king for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of king for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about king


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