- anything said or done, on or off stage, that is followed by a specific line or action: An off-stage door slam was his cue to enter.
- anything that excites to action; stimulus.
- a hint; intimation; guiding suggestion.
- the part a person is to play; a prescribed or necessary course of action.
- a sensory signal used to identify experiences, facilitate memory, or organize responses.
- Archaic. frame of mind; mood.
- to provide with a cue or indication; give a cue to; prompt: Will you cue me on my lines?
- to insert, or direct to come in, in a specific place in a musical or dramatic performance (usually followed by in or into): to cue in a lighting effect.
- to search for and reach (a specific track on a recording) (sometimes followed by up).
- cue (someone) in, Informal. to inform; give instructions, information, news, etc., to: Cue him in on the plans for the dance.
- miss a cue,
- to fail to respond to a cue.
- Informal.to miss the point: You could tell by his expression that he had missed a cue.
Origin of cue1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- (in the theatre, films, music, etc) anything spoken or done that serves as a signal to an actor, musician, etc, to follow with specific lines or action
- on cueat the right moment
- a signal or reminder to do something
- psychol the part of any sensory pattern that is identified as the signal for a response
- the part, function, or action assigned to or expected of a person
- (tr) to give a cue or cues to (an actor)
- (usually foll by in or into) to signal (to something or somebody) at a specific moment in a musical or dramatic performanceto cue in a flourish of trumpets
- (tr) to give information or a reminder to (someone)
- (intr) to signal the commencement of filming, as with the word "Action!"
- billiards snooker a long tapered shaft with a leather tip, used to drive the balls
- hair caught at the back forming a tail or braid
- US a variant spelling of queue
- to drive (a ball) with a cue
- (tr) to twist or tie (the hair) into a cue
Word Origin and History for cue in
"stage direction," 1550s, from Q, which was used 16c., 17c. in stage plays to indicate actors' entrances, probably as an abbreviation of Latin quando "when" (see quandary) or a similar Latin adverb. Shakespeare has it as both Q and cue.
"billiard stick," 1749, variant of queue (n.). Cue ball first recorded 1881.
1928, from cue (n.1). Related: Cued, cueing.
Idioms and Phrases with cue in
Give information or instructions, for example, She said she'd cue us in on their summer plans. This verbal use of the noun cue in the sense of “guiding suggestion” dates from the 1920s.