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[kyoo] /kyu/
a braid of hair worn hanging down behind.
a file or line, especially of people waiting their turn.
Computers. a FIFO-organized sequence of items, as data, messages, jobs, or the like, waiting for action.
verb (used without object), verb (used with object), queued, queuing.
to form in a line while waiting (often followed by up).
Computers. to arrange (data, jobs, messages, etc.) into a queue.
Origin of queue
1585-95; < Middle French < Latin cauda, cōda tail
Related forms
queuer, noun
Can be confused
cue, Kew, queue. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for queues
  • Whenever possible, purchase tickets or make reservations in advance to avoid spending a lot of time in queues.
  • Guests spend a lot of time walking the four main parks in addition to standing in long, winding attraction queues.
  • Part of the stress of air travel is getting to the airport with ample time for the long queues at.
  • These taxis can be reserved through your hotel, hailed on city streets or obtained through citywide taxi queues.
  • Since this was a long weekend coming up, there was the obvious long queues at the airport on the evening wanting to fly somewhere.
  • When you choose which character you want to meet, you will enter one of two sets of queues that fill this space.
  • Irritatingly long queues and suspicious smells in the survivors.
  • Long queues at fruit stands: withered lemons, small shriveled apples in outdoor bins.
  • By now he was used to shuffling along in queues, clutching some treasured possession and the hand of one of his younger sisters.
  • And all it took to convince the public of its merits, it seems, was the promise of shorter queues or a few extra loyalty points.
British Dictionary definitions for queues


a line of people, vehicles, etc, waiting for something: a queue at the theatre
(computing) a list in which entries are deleted from one end and inserted at the other
a pigtail
jump the queue, See queue-jump
verb queues, queuing, queueing, queued
(intransitive) often foll by up. to form or remain in a line while waiting
(computing) to arrange (a number of programs) in a predetermined order for accessing by a computer
US and Canadian word line
Word Origin
C16 (in the sense: tail); C18 (in the sense: pigtail): via French from Latin cauda tail
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for queues



late 15c., "band attached to a letter with seals dangling on the free end," from French queue "a tail," from Old French cue, coe "tail" (12c., also "penis"), from Latin coda (dialectal variant or alternative form of cauda) "tail," of unknown origin. Also in literal use in 16c. English, "tail of a beast," especially in heraldry. The Middle English metaphoric extension to "line of dancers" (c.1500) led to extended sense of "line of people, etc." (1837). Also used 18c. in sense of "braid of hair hanging down behind" (first attested 1748).


"to stand in a line," 1893, from queue (n.). Earlier "put hair up in a braid" (1777). Related: Queued; queueing. Churchill is said to have coined Queuetopia (1950), to describe Britain under Labour or Socialist rule.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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