from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A line of waiting people or vehicles.
  • noun A long braid of hair worn hanging down the back of the neck; a pigtail.
  • noun A sequence of stored data or programs awaiting processing.
  • noun A data structure from which the first item that can be retrieved is the one stored earliest.
  • intransitive verb To get in line.
  • intransitive verb To place in a sequence.
  • intransitive verb To braid or twist (hair) into a queue.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To tie, braid, or fasten in a queue or pigtail.
  • noun A tail; in heraldry, the tail of a beast.
  • noun A tail or pendent braid of hair; a pigtail: originally part of the wig, but afterward, and toward the close of the eighteenth century, when it was in common use, formed of the hair of the head. See cue,1.
  • noun Same as cue, 2.
  • noun The tail-piece of a violin or similar instrument.
  • noun In musical notation, the stem or tail of a note.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A tail-like appendage of hair; a pigtail.
  • noun A line of persons waiting anywhere.
  • transitive verb To fasten, as hair, in a queue.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A waiting list or other means of organizing people or objects into a first-come-first-served order.
  • verb UK To put oneself or itself at the end of a waiting line.
  • verb UK To arrange themselves into a physical waiting queue.
  • verb computing To add to a queue data structure.
  • verb To fasten the hair into a queue.

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

  • noun a line of people or vehicles waiting for something
  • noun a braid of hair at the back of the head
  • verb form a queue, form a line, stand in line
  • noun (information processing) an ordered list of tasks to be performed or messages to be transmitted


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

[French, tail, queue, from Old French cue, tail, from Latin cauda, cōda.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman queue, keu et al. and Middle French queu, cueue et al., from Latin cauda.



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  • "what can lose 4 of its 5 letters and still say what it names?"

    December 7, 2006

  • Category: Word Oddities

    Answer: Britishism that has one consonant followed by four vowels

    Question: What is queue?

    (2 out of 3 contestants got it right)

    December 15, 2006

  • Also a common term in Computer Science, describing a data structure which is essentially a queue, first in, first out. As opposed to a stack, which is last in, first out.

    December 15, 2006

  • Not to be confused with cue.

    April 29, 2007

  • A pool stick.

    April 30, 2007

  • "Please Q here."

    October 21, 2007

  • I'm surprised how popular this one is. I'm British and I hate queues. Give me a third-world scrum any day. Of course it will be different when I'm 64.

    October 21, 2007

  • I like it because it's just a bunch of vowels, preceded by the bizarrest letter in the alphabet. Plus, it should be impossible to pronounce but is instead deceptively easy.

    October 22, 2007

  • Ok, frindley has to ask the kind of naive, embarrassing question that foreigners ask. Here goes: In and around all the US election news are posts and items that draw attention to what sounds to me like excessive waiting in line. I just saw a piece with instructions about what to bring, what to wear and what to do while waiting. Folding chairs are mentioned, not drinking too much water is advised. Is it really so bad that people are queuing 2, 4, even 12 hours to vote? What's the background for that? (I don't think I've ever had to queue for more than 10 minutes to vote, so this seems surreal.)

    November 4, 2008

  • More polling booths are needed, methinks.

    November 4, 2008