Definition of queue in English:


Line breaks: queue
Pronunciation: /kjuː


  • 2 Computing A list of data items, commands, etc., stored so as to be retrievable in a definite order, usually the order of insertion.
    More 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 plait of hair worn at the back.
    More 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)

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  • 1 [no object] chiefly 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, stand in a queue, form a queue, queue up, wait in line, form a line, form lines, get into rows/columns, fall in, file, walk/move in line
    British informal form a crocodile
  • 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: input or output requests to a file are queued by the operating system
    More 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. sense 1 of the noun dates from the mid 19th century.

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