from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Games A long tapered rod with a leather tip used to strike the cue ball in billiards and pool.
  • n. Games A long stick with a concave attachment at one end for shoving disks in shuffleboard.
  • n. A queue of hair.
  • n. A line of waiting people or vehicles; a queue.
  • transitive v. Games To strike with a cue.
  • transitive v. To braid or twist (hair) into a queue.
  • intransitive v. To form a line or queue.
  • n. A signal, such as a word or action, used to prompt another event in a performance, such as an actor's speech or entrance, a change in lighting, or a sound effect.
  • n. A reminder or prompting.
  • n. A hint or suggestion.
  • n. Music An extract from the music for another part printed, usually in smaller notes, within a performer's part as a signal to enter after a long rest.
  • n. Music A gesture by a conductor signaling the entrance of a performer or part.
  • n. Psychology A stimulus, either consciously or unconsciously perceived, that elicits or signals a type of behavior.
  • n. Archaic One's assigned role or function.
  • n. Archaic A mood; a disposition.
  • transitive v. To give a cue to; signal or prompt.
  • transitive v. To insert into the sequence of a performance: cued the lights for the monologue scene.
  • transitive v. To position (an audio or video recording) in readiness for playing: cue up a record on the turntable.
  • cue in To give information or instructions to, as to a latecomer.
  • n. The letter q.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An action or event that is a signal for somebody to do something.
  • n. The name of the Latin script letter Q/q.
  • n. A small portion of bread or beer; the quantity bought with a farthing or half farthing and noted with a q (for Latin quadrans farthing) in the buttery books.
  • v. The act of giving someone a cue signal.
  • n. A straight tapering rod used to impel the balls in various games.
  • v. The act of taking aim on the cue ball with the cue and hitting it.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The tail; the end of a thing; especially, a tail-like twist of hair worn at the back of the head; a queue.
  • n. The last words of a play actor's speech, serving as an intimation for the next succeeding player to speak; any word or words which serve to remind a player to speak or to do something; a catchword.
  • n. A hint or intimation.
  • n. The part one has to perform in, or as in, a play.
  • n. Humor; temper of mind.
  • n. A straight tapering rod used to impel the balls in playing billiards.
  • n. A small portion of bread or beer; the quantity bought with a farthing or half farthing.
  • transitive v. To form into a cue; to braid; to twist.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To tie into a cue or tail.
  • n. The tail; something hanging down like a tail, as the long curl of a wig or a long roll or plait of hair. In this sense also queue. See pigtail.
  • n. A number of persons ranged in a line, awaiting their turn to be served, as at a bank or a ticket-office. In this sense also queue.
  • n. Theat, words which when spoken at the end of a speech in the course of a play are the signal for an answering speech, or for the entrance of another actor, etc.
  • n. In music, a fragment of some other part printed in small notes, at the end of a long rest or silence occurring in the part of a voice or an instrument, to assist the singer or player in beginning promptly and correctly.
  • n. Hence— A hint; an intimation; a guiding suggestion.
  • n. The part which one is to play; a course of action prescribed, or made necessary by circumstances.
  • n. Humor; turn or temper of mind.
  • n. A straight tapering rod tipped with a small soft pad, used to strike the balls in billiards, bagatelle, and similar games.
  • n. A support for a lance; a lance-rest.
  • n. The name of the letter Q, q.
  • n. A farthing; a half-farthing.
  • n. A farthing's worth; the quantity bought with a farthing, as a small quantity of bread or beer.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. assist (somebody acting or reciting) by suggesting the next words of something forgotten or imperfectly learned
  • n. sports implement consisting of a tapering rod used to strike a cue ball in pool or billiards
  • n. a stimulus that provides information about what to do
  • n. an actor's line that immediately precedes and serves as a reminder for some action or speech
  • n. evidence that helps to solve a problem


Variant of queue.
Perhaps from q, qu, abbreviation of Latin quandō, when, used for actors' copies of plays; see kwo- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the letter Q, abbreviation of Latin quando (“when”), marked on actor's play copy where they were to begin. (Wiktionary)


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