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cue

1
[ kyoo ]
/ kyu /
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See synonyms for: cue / cued / cues / cuing on Thesaurus.com

noun
verb (used with object), cued, cu·ing.

VIDEO FOR CUE

What Is The Difference Between "Cue" And "Queue"?

Homophones are words that sound the same but mean different things (and are often times spelled differently too). "Queue" and "cue" are examples of homophones. Do you know what they both mean?

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Idioms about cue

    cue (someone) in, Informal. to inform; give instructions, information, news, etc., to: Cue him in on the plans for the dance.
    miss a cue,
    1. to fail to respond to a cue.
    2. Informal. to miss the point: You could tell by his expression that he had missed a cue.

Origin of cue

1
First recorded in 1545–55; spelled name of the letter q as an abbreviation (found in acting scripts) of Latin quandō “when”

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH cue

cue , queue

Other definitions for cue (2 of 3)

cue2
[ kyoo ]
/ kyu /

noun
a long, tapering rod, tipped with a soft leather pad, used to strike the ball in billiards, pool, etc.
a long, usually wooden stick with a concave head, used to propel the disks in shuffleboard.
a queue or braid of hair worn behind the head.
a queue or file, as of persons awaiting their turn.
verb (used with object), cued, cu·ing.
to tie into a queue.
to strike with a cue.

Origin of cue

2
First recorded in 1740–50; from French queue “tail,” Old French cöe, coue, from Latin cōda, popular form of cauda “tail”; cf. coward, queue

Other definitions for cue (3 of 3)

cue3
[ kyoo ]
/ kyu /

noun
the letter Q, q.

Origin of cue

3
First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English cu; conventional adaptation in spelling of the letter name
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

MORE ABOUT CUE

What does cue mean?

A cue is any planned action that triggers an actor’s response or line of dialogue in performance art, as in I’m so embarrassed that I missed my cue to walk on stage!

A cue is more generally something that triggers an action, as in The teacher handing out the test was our cue to put our books away.

A cue can also be a hint, I should have seen my mother’s angry face as my cue to apologize.

To cue means to provide a hint or prompt for an action, as in The actors cued each other during rehearsal so they could memorize all the cues.

To cue can also mean to insert or direct to come in, as in Cue the music, and raise the curtain!

Example: Juan came in on cue but flubbed his line, so we had to reshoot the scene.

Where does cue come from?

The first records of the term cue come from around 1545. It is the spelled name of the abbreviation q for the Latin quandō, meaning “when.” The abbreviation was used in acting scripts.

Cue is mostly used as a noun, but there are several phrases that use cue uniquely. For example, if you are on cue, you’re performing at the correct time when prompted by a cue. And if you cue in your little sister about your parents’ feelings about shouting, you’re informing her about something you and your parents already know. If your sister doesn’t understand what you’re trying to tell her, you can say she has missed a cue.

Did you know … ?

What are some synonyms for cue?

What are some words that share a root or word element with cue

What are some words that often get used in discussing cue?

What are some words cue may be commonly confused with?

How is cue used in real life?

Cue is often used in performance art or as an indirect reference to performing.

Try using cue!

Is cue used correctly in the following sentence?

I cued up for the tickets earlier today.

How to use cue in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cue (1 of 2)

cue1
/ (kjuː) /

noun
verb cues, cueing or cued

Word Origin for cue

C16: probably from name of the letter q, used in an actor's script to represent Latin quando when

British Dictionary definitions for cue (2 of 2)

cue2
/ (kjuː) /

noun
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
verb cues, cueing or cued
to drive (a ball) with a cue
(tr) to twist or tie (the hair) into a cue

Word Origin for cue

C18: variant of queue
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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