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See also: Cue, CUE, 'cue, -cue, cu'e, , -cü, and -çü



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Etymology 1Edit

From the letter Q, abbreviation of Latin quando (“when”), marked on actor's play copy where they were to begin.


cue (plural cues)

  1. An action or event that is a signal for somebody to do something.
    • 2011 November 3, Chris Bevan, “Rubin Kazan 1 - 0 Tottenham”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      This time Cudicini was left helpless when Natcho stepped up to expertly curl the ball into the top corner.
      That was the cue for further pressure from the Russian side and it took further Cudicini saves to keep the score down.
  2. The last words of a play actor's speech, serving as an intimation for the next actor to speak; any word or words which serve to remind an actor to speak or to do something; a catchword.
    • Shakespeare
      When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer.
  3. A hint or intimation.
    • Jonathan Swift
      Give them [the servants] their cue to attend in two lines as he leaves the house.
  4. (obsolete) Humour; temper of mind.
  5. The name of the Latin-script letter Q.
  6. (obsolete, Britain, universities) 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.
Derived termsEdit
See alsoEdit


cue (third-person singular simple present cues, present participle cueing, simple past and past participle cued)

  1. To give someone a cue signal.
    Cue the cameraman, and action!
    • 2012 May 27, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “New Kid On The Block” (season 4, episode 8; originally aired 11/12/1992)”, in The Onion AV Club[2]:
      The episode also opens with an inspired bit of business for Homer, who blithely refuses to acquiesce to an elderly neighbor’s utterly reasonable request that he help make the process of selling her house easier by wearing pants when he gallivants about in front of windows, throw out his impressive collection of rotting Jack-O-Lanterns from previous Halloweens and take out his garbage, as it’s attracting wildlife (cue moose and Northern Exposure theme song).
  2. (by extension) To spark or provoke
    • 2016 September 28, Tom English, “Celtic 3–3 Manchester City”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name)[3], BBC Sport:
      The teenager, as beloved a full-back as any in these parts since Danny McGrain was tearing it up, cut in, shot and saw his attempt deflected in off Sterling's boot. Cue more pandemonium.

Usage notesEdit

This is often used in the imperative.

Etymology 2Edit

Cues for cuesports

Variant of queue, from French queue (tail).


cue (plural cues)

  1. (sports, billiards, snooker, pool) A straight tapering stick used to hit the balls in various games.
  2. (obsolete) The tail; the end of a thing; especially, a tail-like twist of hair worn at the back of the head; a queue.
    • 1863, Sheridan Le Fanu, The House by the Churchyard
      Fat, short, radiant, General Chattesworth—in full, artillery uniform—was there, smiling, and making little speeches to the ladies, and bowing stiffly from his hips upward—his great cue playing all the time up and down his back, and sometimes so near the ground when he stood erect and threw back his head, that Toole, seeing Juno eyeing the appendage rather viciously, thought it prudent to cut her speculations short with a smart kick.
Derived termsEdit


cue (third-person singular simple present cues, present participle cueing, simple past and past participle cued)

  1. (sports, billiards, snooker, pool) To take aim on the cue ball with the cue and hit it.
  2. To form into a cue; to braid; to twist.

Further readingEdit





  1. water; liquid

Further readingEdit

Old FrenchEdit

Alternative formsEdit


From Vulgar Latin cōda, from Latin cauda.


cue f (oblique plural cues, nominative singular cue, nominative plural cues)

  1. tail (of an animal)