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

  • n. The wife or widow of a king.
  • n. A woman sovereign.
  • n. Something having eminence or supremacy in a given domain and personified as a woman: Paris is regarded as the queen of cities.
  • n. Games The most powerful chess piece, able to move in any direction over any number of empty squares in a straight line.
  • n. Games A playing card bearing the figure of a queen, ranking above the jack and below the king.
  • n. The fertile, fully developed female in a colony of social bees, ants, or termites.
  • n. A mature female cat, especially one kept for breeding purposes.
  • n. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a homosexual man.
  • transitive v. To make (a woman) a queen.
  • transitive v. Games To raise (a pawn) to queen in chess.
  • intransitive v. Games To become a queen in chess.
  • idiom queen it To act like a queen; domineer: queens it over the whole family.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A female monarch. Example: Queen Victoria
  • n. The wife or widow of a king. Example: Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother
  • n. The most powerful piece, able to move any number of spaces horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
  • n. A playing card with the picture of a queen on its face, the twelfth card in a given suit.
  • n. A powerful or forceful female person.
  • n. An effeminate male homosexual. See drag queen.
  • n. A reproductive female animal in a hive, such as an ant, bee, termite or wasp.
  • n. An adult female cat valued for breeding. See tom.
  • v. to make a queen
  • v. to promote a pawn, usually to a queen.
  • v. To sit on the face of (a partner) to receive oral sex.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The wife of a king.
  • n. A woman who is the sovereign of a kingdom; a female monarch
  • n. A woman eminent in power or attractions; the highest of her kind
  • n. The fertile, or fully developed, female of social bees, ants, and termites.
  • n. The most powerful, and except the king the most important, piece in a set of chessmen.
  • n. A playing card bearing the picture of a queen.
  • intransitive v. To act the part of a queen.
  • intransitive v. To make a queen (or other piece, at the player's discretion) of by moving it to the eighth row.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To play the queen; act the part or character of a queen; domineer: with an indefinite it.
  • In chess, to make a queen of: said of a pawn on its reaching the eighth square.
  • In apiculture, to supply with a queen; introduce a queen to: said of a colony of bees.
  • n. The consort of a king.
  • n. A woman who is the sovereign of a realm; a female sovereign.
  • n. Figuratively, a woman who is chief or preeminent among others; one who presides: as, queen of beauty; queen of the May (see Mayqueen).
  • n. Hence, anything personified as chief or greatest, when considered as possessing female attributes.
  • n. In entomology, a queen bee or queen ant.
  • n. A playing-card on which a queen is depicted.
  • n. In chess, the piece which is by far the most powerful of all for attack. See chess. Abbreviated Q.
  • n. A variety of roofing-slate, measuring 3 feet long and 2 feet wide. Compare duchess, 2.
  • n. Among Roman Catholics, a title given to the Virgin Mary.
  • n. Same as quin.
  • n. Same as queen-wasp.
  • n. A female eat. In modern catteries the name is given only to female cats used for careful and scientific breeding. Also called queen-cat.
  • n. The female of a termite or white ant. See king, 6.

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

  • n. a competitor who holds a preeminent position
  • n. one of four face cards in a deck bearing a picture of a queen
  • n. offensive term for an openly homosexual man
  • v. become a queen
  • n. something personified as a woman who is considered the best or most important of her kind
  • n. (chess) the most powerful piece
  • n. a female sovereign ruler
  • n. the only fertile female in a colony of social insects such as bees and ants and termites; its function is to lay eggs
  • n. female cat
  • n. the wife or widow of a king
  • n. an especially large mole rat and the only member of a colony of naked mole rats to bear offspring which are sired by only a few males
  • v. promote to a queen, as of a pawn in chess


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

Middle English quene, from Old English cwēn.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English queen, quene, cwen, from Old English cwēn, cwǣn ("woman; wife, consort; queen, empress, royal princess"), from Proto-Germanic *kwēniz (“woman”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʷḗn (“woman”). Cognate with Scots queen, wheen ("queen"), Old Saxon quān ("wife"; > Middle Low German quene ("elderly woman")), Norwegian dialectal kvån ("wife"), Icelandic kvon ("wife"), Gothic 𐌵𐌴𐌽𐍃 (qēns, "wife"). Related to Old English cwene ("woman; female serf, quean, prostitute"), see quean.



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  • Me and the Major don't see eye to eye on a

    Number of things, he'll take a guy like me

    And put him in the army

    Cause the Queen's own army makes a man of you.

    (Me and the Major, by Belle and Sebastian)

    January 1, 2009

  • Perhaps there are countries where the word most immediately conjures up thoughts of insects, but I don't live in one of those.

    I think the rook is an odder chessman, though.

    November 30, 2007

  • In chess, the queen is one of the chessmen, very strange.

    February 21, 2007