Definition of queue in English:

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Pronunciation: /kyo͞o/


1chiefly British A line or sequence of people or vehicles awaiting their turn to be attended to or to proceed.
Example sentences
  • Upon the group's return a queue of vehicles had lined up to go across the river.
  • As queues of people lined up in a typical British orderly fashion, traffic on the North Circular began to build up, with punters travelling from as far as Birmingham to get their hands on a cheap deal.
  • Vehicles previously stuck in queues past the A2 junction suddenly speed up and try to get the best position as three lanes expand to eight for the toll booths.
lineup, line, row, column, file, chain, string;
procession, train, cavalcade
2 Computing A list of data items, commands, etc., stored so as to be retrievable in a definite order, usually the order of insertion.
Example sentences
  • A bitmap indicates which queues are not empty, and the individual queues are FIFO lists.
  • If there are no independent commands in the queue at all, the FPU unit will be idling for 5 clocks.
  • When packets are dropped this way, a new entry is stored in a special queue of unresolved addresses.
3 archaic A braid of hair worn at the back.
Example sentences
  • Chinese men were forced to braid their long hair into a queue or ‘pigtail’.
  • For tonight, he had tied back his hair in a tidy queue, and his eyes seemed especially bright from his sapphire-colored tunic.
  • His long, shoulder length hair tied in a queue, he walked toward the small stable where his horse was waiting.

verb (queues, queuing or queueing, queued)

[no object]
1chiefly British Take one’s place in a queue: in the war they had queued for food
More example sentences
  • Now TV stations around the world are queuing up to buy the series.
  • Academics, meanwhile, have been queuing up to back fiscal autonomy.
  • We need more skilled craftsmen, and yet there are young people queuing up for apprenticeships who simply cannot get them.
line up, wait in line, form a line, fall in, form a queue, queue up
1.1 (queue up) Be extremely keen to do or have something: companies are queuing up to move to the bay
2 [with object] Computing Arrange in a queue.
Example sentences
  • All write operations are queued to the secondary device, or the journal device, which may be disk or tape.
  • When data is ready, that thread/dæmon wakes up and queues the received data for use by the consuming application threads or processes.
  • Once turned on, programs are queued up for commercial scanning after the end of the show.


Late 16th century (as a heraldic term denoting the tail of an animal): from French, based on Latin cauda 'tail'. Compare with cue2. queue dates from the mid 19th century.

  • Think of a long queue of people stretching back from a ticket office or bus stop. It looks a bit like an animal's tail, and this is the literal meaning of the word, which comes from French and was based on Latin cauda ‘tail’. Queue was originally used as a heraldic term for the tail of an animal. In the 18th and 19th centuries it also referred to a pigtail, sometimes spelt cue, and source of the long thin rod cue (mid 16th century) used in snooker. It came to describe a line of people in the mid 19th century.

Words that rhyme with queue

accrue, adieu, ado, anew, Anjou, aperçu, askew, ballyhoo, bamboo, bedew, bestrew, billet-doux, blew, blue, boo, boohoo, brew, buckaroo, canoe, chew, clew, clou, clue, cock-a-doodle-doo, cockatoo, construe, coo, Corfu, coup, crew, Crewe, cru, cue, déjà vu, derring-do, dew, didgeridoo, do, drew, due, endue, ensue, eschew, feu, few, flew, flu, flue, foreknew, glue, gnu, goo, grew, halloo, hereto, hew, Hindu, hitherto, how-do-you-do, hue, Hugh, hullabaloo, imbrue, imbue, jackaroo, Jew, kangaroo, Karroo, Kathmandu, kazoo, Kiangsu, knew, Kru, K2, kung fu, Lahu, Lanzhou, Lao-tzu, lasso, lieu, loo, Lou, Manchu, mangetout, mew, misconstrue, miscue, moo, moue, mu, nardoo, new, non-U, nu, ooh, outdo, outflew, outgrew, peekaboo, Peru, pew, plew, Poitou, pooh, pooh-pooh, potoroo, pursue, revue, roo, roux, rue, Selous, set-to, shampoo, shih-tzu, shoe, shoo, shrew, Sioux, skean dhu, skew, skidoo, slew, smew, snafu, sou, spew, sprue, stew, strew, subdue, sue, switcheroo, taboo, tattoo, thereto, thew, threw, thro, through, thru, tickety-boo, Timbuktu, tiramisu, to, to-do, too, toodle-oo, true, true-blue, tu-whit tu-whoo, two, vendue, view, vindaloo, virtu, wahoo, wallaroo, Waterloo, well-to-do, whereto, whew, who, withdrew, woo, Wu, yew, you, zoo

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: queue

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