Meaning of QUEUE in English

I. queue 1 S3 /kjuː/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Language: French ; Origin: 'tail' , from Latin cauda , coda ]

1 . British English a line of people waiting to enter a building, buy something etc, or a line of vehicles waiting to move SYN line American English

be/stand/wait in a queue

We stood in a queue for half an hour.

You’ll have to join the queue.

queue of

a queue of people waiting for the bus

queue for

the queue for the toilets

queue to do something

There was a long queue to get into the cinema.

the front/head/back/end of a queue

At last we got to the front of the queue.

2 . British English all the people who are waiting to have or get something:

You’ll have to join the housing queue.

queue for

the queue for kidney transplant operations

It is possible to jump the queue (=get something before people who have been waiting longer) if you are prepared to pay for your treatment.

3 . technical a list of jobs that a computer has to do in a particular order:

the print queue

4 . a number of telephone calls to a particular number that are waiting to be answered

⇨ the dole queue at ↑ dole 1 (2)

• • •


■ verbs

▪ stand/wait in a queue

She stood in the queue at the checkout.

▪ be in a queue

I've been in this queue for fifteen minutes.

▪ form a queue

Other passengers for the train were forming a queue.

▪ join a queue

He went back inside to join the queue for the toilets.

▪ take your place in a queue (=join it)

I walked to the bus stop and took my place in the queue.

▪ jump the queue (=go to the front rather than joining the end of a queue)

An argument developed when she tried to jump the queue.

▪ a queue forms

A queue had formed outside the shop.

▪ a queue stretches somewhere

The queue stretched the full length of the building.

■ adjectives

▪ long/big

Already a long queue had formed outside the concert hall


There was a big queue.

▪ small

There was a small queue of people waiting to see the doctor.

▪ an orderly queue (=with no bad behaviour or pushing in front of other people)

She told the children to form an orderly queue.

■ phrases

▪ the front/head of the queue

He pushed his way to the front of the queue.

▪ the back/end of the queue

Get to the back of the queue!

▪ be first in a queue

I wanted to be first in the queue when the doors opened.

II. queue 2 BrE AmE verb ( also queue up ) [intransitive] British English

1 . to form or join a line of people or vehicles waiting to do something or go somewhere SYN line up American English

queue for

Some of the people queuing for tickets had been there since dawn.

queue (up) to do something

We had to queue up for ages to get served.

2 . if people are queuing up to do something, they all want to do it very much

queue up to do something

The school is one of the best, and parents are queuing up to send their children there.

queue up for something

Actresses are queuing up for the part.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.