) KEY NOUN:
- A line of waiting people or vehicles.
- A long braid of hair worn hanging down the back of the neck; a pigtail.
- Computer Science
- A sequence of stored data or programs awaiting processing.
- A data structure from which the first item that can be retrieved is the one stored earliest.
- To get in line: queue up at the box office.
French, from Old French cue
, from Latin cauda, cdaWORD HISTORY:
When the British stand in queues (as they have been doing at least since 1837, when this meaning of the word is first recorded in English), they may not realize they form a tail. The French word queue
from which the English word is borrowed is a descendant of Latin cda,
meaning "tail." French queue
appeared in 1748 in English, referring to a plait of hair hanging down the back of the neck. By 1802 wearing a queue was a regulation in the British army, but by the mid-19th century queues had disappeared along with cocked hats. Latin cda
is also the source of Italian coda,
which was adopted into English as a musical term (like so many other English musical terms that come from Italian). A coda is thus literally the "tail end" of a movement or composition.