Main definitions of queen in English

: queen1Queen2

queen1

noun

  • 1The female ruler of an independent state, especially one who inherits the position by right of birth.

    as title ‘Queen Victoria’
    as complement ‘he insisted the princess could be crowned queen’
    • ‘Zapatero is now pushing a proposal that would allow Spanish princesses to become queens if they are the firstborn.’
    • ‘Children also took part in period dances including the lively farandole from Provence and the slower pavan, both dating back to the time of Tudor kings and queens.’
    • ‘And for those who watched the funeral of the Princess of Wales, it was when Elton John sang that the queen was most moved.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, England's first female rulers, the sixteenth-century Tudor queens Mary I and Elizabeth I, assumed power as single women.’
    • ‘The broadcaster's new 24-part series on television series on kings and queens, Monarchy, begins tomorrow night on Channel Four and will continue for the next four years.’
    • ‘In the 1840s, the Ardverikie Estate was leased by the Duke of Abercorn, a senior aide to Prince Albert, the queen's husband.’
    • ‘The English and French monarchs were kings and queens of the land and not the people.’
    • ‘Only 30% favour having a king or queen who inherits the position for life.’
    • ‘Earlier, the queen and Prince Philip watched a golden jubilee parade in Windsor and started a nationwide jubilee music party during a visit to Slough.’
    • ‘The basic thing for a sovereign king or a queen of a country is service to the people.’
    • ‘Elizabeth Bowes Lyon was mother to a queen, wife to a king, sister-in-law to another king.’
    • ‘Visitors to Windsor Castle are to be given a glimpse of the drawings, books and documents collected by the Stuart kings and queens during their 100-year reign.’
    • ‘She became a queen and gave birth to a future queen, and in the process became beloved by the British people.’
    • ‘Of course, this in no way undermines the contributions of other historical British queens and queen consorts.’
    • ‘This was once the place of royal summer retreat, and there is a wealth of stories about the kings, queens, princes and princesses who spent time here.’
    • ‘It examines two powerful queens, how they used their power differently and how they suffered in love; two women imprisoned by the powerful roles they inhabit.’
    • ‘In some ways, she was better poised, by temperament, to be a royal than the queen, which is a funny thing when you kind of think about it.’
    • ‘After all, if a woman who marries a sovereign king becomes a queen consort, why shouldn't a man who marries a sovereign queen become a king consort?’
    • ‘Anne was a queen without a king, even though she had a spouse, who played the public but informal role of a loyal and obedient subject.’
    • ‘Here, as we have seen, their ruler was the pro-Roman queen, Cartimandua whose seat may have been at Stanwick, near Scotch Corner.’
    monarch, sovereign, head of state, ruler, crown, her majesty
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A king's wife.
      • ‘The king, queen and prince also sent messages of condolence.’
      • ‘Convention has it that when the king comes to the throne, his wife then becomes queen.’
      • ‘The drama tells the story of a king who takes a second wife because his Chinese queen is unable to bear children.’
      • ‘Salomon, the eldest, arrived first, around 1607, and his earliest works were for the queen consort, Anne of Denmark.’
      • ‘While Elliott remains a staunch supporter of King Louis XVI and his queen, Marie Antoinette, the Duke sides with the anti-monarchists.’
      • ‘Born in 1542, she married the French Dauphin in 1558 and became the queen consort a year later.’
      • ‘The Medallion was simply a memento with pictures of the king and queen and inscription ‘Royal Tour 1947.’’
      • ‘The central room contains the epitaphs of the emperor Humayun and his queen, and is crowned by great double dome.’
      • ‘Before departing, the king directed that his queen consort should follow him to London within about twenty days.’
      • ‘King Gyanendra, who ascended the throne June 4, declared his wife, Princess Komal, the queen of Nepal the same day.’
      • ‘King Norodom Sihanouk and his queen always enjoy the annual ceremony and the prime minister, other leaders and thousands of ordinary people also participate in the event.’
      • ‘According to the scandalmongers, the then Prince of Wales had inherited these emeralds from Alexandra for the purpose of passing them down to his future wife, the next queen of England.’
      • ‘He immediately wrote a note to his wife, the queen.’
      • ‘The Pavillion de La Bouexiere, as it was called in the eighteenth century, attracted noted celebrities such as Louis XV's queen consort, Marie Leszczynska.’
      • ‘A boom period followed the successful televising of the coronation of George VI and his queen consort on 12 May 1937.’
      • ‘What she obviously meant was that the new queen became the favourite wife of the emperor.’
      • ‘Some of his prophecies appeared to be fulfilled, and his fame became so widespread that he was invited to the court of Catherine de Medicis, queen consort of Henry II of France, where he cast the horoscopes of her children.’
      • ‘The impressive scale of this escort was designed to convey an unmistakable message about the status and importance of those who were to be accompanied, namely the queen consort of the King of Scotland and England and the royal children.’
      • ‘His tolerance to other religions perhaps came from his many queens including his principle wife who was a Hindu.’
      • ‘Prince Gyanendra contradicted officials who suggested that Crown Prince Dipendra killed King Birendra, the queen and six other royals in a dispute.’
      monarch, sovereign, head of state, ruler, crown, her majesty
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A woman or thing regarded as the finest or most outstanding in a particular sphere or group.
      ‘the queen of the social columns’
      • ‘And if that doesn't make me the official queen of Google, nothing will.’
      • ‘But most importantly, Kathie remains the undisputed queen of the council chamber.’
      • ‘In the studio the Eastenders cast will get makeovers from fashion queens Trinny and Susannah as part of a What Not To Wear special.’
      • ‘Sunday was family day and the best-dressed lady was selected from the many queens of fashion that paraded the latest styles throughout the course.’
      • ‘The production team and crew under the direction of the queen of panto in Ballylinan Bernie Dunne are once again looking forward to yet another busy run.’
      • ‘This guy had more fashion sense than the queen of fashion.’
      • ‘Long and thin or fat and tubular, pasta is the queen of comfort foods this winter.’
      • ‘Until recently, botanists have met with similar impenetrability when asking these questions about orchids, the glamour queens of the plant kingdom.’
      • ‘The HS748, the queen of the skies, has provided outstanding service to the Air Force and the nation in the past 37 years.’
      • ‘For the queen of fashion herself, I will make sure my party starts early enough so that she can drop by for her customary 10 minutes before going off to bed at 10 pm.’
      • ‘Hillary Luigio was a sporty half-Italian girl who was the queen of gossip.’
      • ‘Mary Quant, undoubtedly fashion queen of the decade, rose to fame in 1966.’
      • ‘For once, Kerry's queens of fashion were upstaged by a queen from another land - but they didn't seem to mind.’
      • ‘The lifelong rivalry of cosmetics queens Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein makes for riveting reading.’
      • ‘Tanya had always been the fashion queen and it was because of that that her friends always deferred to her on issues of style.’
      • ‘Also, since you've been called the queen of fantasy romance, i could use any pointers you have!’
      • ‘Former classical fashion queens such as Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy had a faithful following in the city.’
      • ‘Economics is often described as the queen of the social sciences.’
      • ‘The world famous queen of fashion, Vivienne Westwood, holding her first ever fashion show in Shanghai!’
      • ‘We are throwing down the gauntlet: Who is the next queen of Wife Swap?’
      doyenne, star, leading light, celebrity, big name, superstar, top dog, queen bee, mistress, prima donna, idol, heroine, favourite, darling
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    3. 1.3 A woman or girl chosen to hold the most important position in a festival or event.
      ‘she's the official carnival queen’
      • ‘Yet the former beauty queen has worked her way to the fringes of the British establishment.’
      • ‘The evening continued with Killybegs Festival Carnival led by the festival queen.’
      • ‘Last Friday, however, the boys captured the warrior queen of the girls.’
      • ‘A host of carnival queens from the region clutched their brollies and smiled at onlookers as they led the procession down Drake Street.’
      • ‘Another addition this year will be a festival queen and two princesses chosen from local girls.’
      • ‘The first carnival event will be the appointment of the carnival royalty, including carnival queen, princess and prince, in the town hall on April 30.’
      • ‘And carnival queens will not be allowed to sit on cars.’
      • ‘Prospective carnival queens can either fill out an application form on the night of the competition or ring this number for one in advance.’
      • ‘It's one of those letter jackets with the shiny leather sleeves, the kind real athletes wear while strolling college campuses, homecoming queens on their arms.’
      • ‘And carnival queens from Tiptree, Burnham, Braintree, Witham and Wickford were given the celebrity treatment, riding in style in the back of luxury stretch limos.’
      • ‘In the afternoon before the procession, carnival queens from all over the county will take part in a contest to choose the Queen of Queens.’
      • ‘All significant events where I grew up involve people carted around town by tractor, including the carnival queens and carol singers.’
      • ‘The principal was about to announce homecoming king, queen, prince, and princess.’
      • ‘Teenage girls were crowned queen of the potato festival.’
      • ‘Leanne has had her heart set on becoming the carnival queen for a number of years and was really delighted.’
      • ‘Sunday will also see the traditional carnival parade - a procession through the town centre including brass, samba and pipe bands, floats, walking groups in fancy dress and carnival queens.’
      • ‘Jill's post about this, and her analogy to the unpopular girl winning homecoming queen, made me want to go and vote.’
      • ‘Two vintage cars, owned by Mr Mchugh, carried the carnival queen and the mayor.’
      • ‘Prestwich's own carnival queens will be selling the programmes outside the supermarket each Saturday and Sunday leading up to the big day itself.’
      • ‘From the 1920s until the start of WWII a carnival queen was plucked annually from the town's prettiest girls and given a short spell in the limelight.’
    4. 1.4dated (in the UK) the national anthem when there is a female sovereign.
    5. 1.5informal A man's wife or girlfriend.
      girlfriend, girl, sweetheart, partner, significant other, inamorata, fiancée
      View synonyms
  • 2The most powerful chess piece that each player has, able to move in any direction along a rank, file, or diagonal on which it stands.

    • ‘After some deliberation, he moved his queen diagonally across the board, capturing Adam's remaining knight.’
    • ‘It was also obvious that Kasparov would soon be able to make a new queen, giving him an overwhelming material advantage.’
    • ‘His king was caught in a mating net and to avoid it he would have lost his queen, so he resigned after 29 moves.’
    • ‘‘In chess, when a queen is beleaguered, it is sometimes necessary to sacrifice a knight to save the game,’ he told the media.’
    • ‘In this position the queen in the corner is a problem, so I planned 2.b3 to bring it into play.’
    • ‘Both players sacrificed their queens early, but Kasparov deliberated over a simple sacrifice exchange later in the match, which baffled analysts.’
    • ‘Anand sacrificed his queen on move 22, getting a rook and knight in return.’
    • ‘On move 20, the two players liquidated their queens and after swapping pieces in the next 10 moves, they were almost in a balanced position.’
    • ‘Black must find a way to involve some more pieces beyond the queen and rook on c8.’
    • ‘Miss Watson left her queen en prise against Miss Gooding, who failed to notice and eventually lost.’
    • ‘As far as movement, he's as versatile as the queen piece on a chess board.’
    • ‘Thus, in the context of a chess game, moving your queen to a square adjacent to your opponent's king counts as a check.’
    • ‘In top tournaments, in which electronic boards are used, each set of pieces has an extra queen for each side.’
    • ‘Aware that I had already won a small victory by being the last standing player, I made a bold move with my queen.’
    • ‘His point is that the queen's position on h6 gives white the additional annoying possibility of 12.Nh4!’
    • ‘Garry was, however, able to save himself by sacrificing his queen for rook, knight and pawn, plus an attack.’
    • ‘With white he quickly swung his queen over to the kingside and proceeded to advance his pawns.’
    • ‘David moved his queen left diagonally two spaces.’
    • ‘I moved my queen to mid-board, hoping to establish an offensive.’
    • ‘After the queens came off on move 40, Korchnoi was left with 6 pawns to Galliamova's knight and 2 soldiers.’
  • 3A playing card bearing a representation of a queen, normally ranking next below a king and above a jack.

    • ‘The object is to take tricks containing aces, 10s, kings, queens and jacks.’
    • ‘Anyone who holds the ace, king, queen, jack or ten of hearts takes all the chips from that space.’
    • ‘It consists of ace, king, queen, jack, ten, all in the same suit.’
    • ‘In this game kings, queens and jacks are worth half a point each, and the numeral cards are worth their face value.’
    • ‘He laid down an ace, a king, a queen, a jack and a ten.’
    • ‘Another variation is to count face cards as numbers; jacks have a value of eleven, queens twelve, and kings thirteen.’
    • ‘If the queen of spades is dealt face down, then there is no chance of the hand being reset.’
    • ‘There are no trumps at the start, but if the side winning a trick hold the king and queen of a suit, they can make that suit trumps.’
    • ‘The dealer flops an ace, queen and jack - two of them spades.’
    • ‘The queen of clubs belongs for all purposes to the trump suit, not to the club suit.’
    • ‘Whoever receives the ace is the first dealer; the player with the king sits to that player's left, then the queen and so on down, in clockwise order.’
    • ‘You should generally try to avoid playing aces, kings, queens and jacks except when capturing or building with them.’
    • ‘To this day, packs of Italian playing-cards do not have queens - nor do packs in Spain, Germany and Switzerland (among others).’
    • ‘The deck is prepared by first removing the kings, queens, and jacks, and then separating the colors, leaving you with two 20-card decks.’
    • ‘Note that all the queens, including diamonds, also carry their normal 3 points, which cannot be annulled.’
    • ‘A Kirby is often used when a player has many trumps, or cards above the value of queens (kings and Aces).’
    • ‘The ace, king, queen, jack and ten of each suit are worth one point each, so that the pack contains 20 points in all.’
    • ‘The face cards - the jack, queen and king - and the joker each have a different kind of dog painted on them.’
    • ‘Players may agree to value the jacks, queens, kings and aces at ten points each; this makes the count faster.’
    • ‘A combination consisting of a king and a queen of each suit is sometimes known as a roundhouse.’
  • 4Entomology
    A reproductive female in a colony of social ants, bees, wasps, or termites, frequently the only one present in a colony.

    • ‘A major distinction in the social organization of ant societies is the number of queens that inhabit a colony.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, these queens also compete for reproductive shares within a colony of limited resources.’
    • ‘Mound densities were 33 percent less in sites with the parasitic ant, and the number of fire ant queens was 47 percent less in parasitized colonies.’
    • ‘Eusocial insect colonies are frequently headed by multiple reproductive queens.’
    • ‘Should a colony containing more than one queen be separated into subunits, any subunit containing a queen can become independent over time.’
    • ‘This potent fungus, which also kills termites, doesn't harm bees or affect their queen's production.’
    • ‘But in an unusual role reversal, paper wasp queens beg their young for a meal.’
    • ‘We present data on reproductive partitioning among queens in the ant Leptothorax rugatulus with special emphasis on relatedness and body size.’
    • ‘Mole-rats are the only known mammals to live in large colonies presided over by a queen (like ants and termites).’
    • ‘There seems to be the implicit assumption that queens of social insects have little or no cost of reproduction because they are amply supplied with resources by their workers.’
    • ‘Colonies of this species typically contain multiple queens, and most reproductive individuals mate within their parental nest without dispersing.’
    • ‘However, clear evidence of nepotism in the rearing of queens in social insects is limited and controversial.’
    • ‘Therefore, it is possible that Africanized drones may have hybridized with European queens, which established colonies at WWR as early as 1991.’
    • ‘As a result, the progeny of a single queen (a normal bee colony) make up a genetically diverse population.’
    • ‘To alleviate this problem, some people care for wasp queens in winter.’
    • ‘Although queens heading neighboring colonies are not close relatives, fixation indices show significant genetic differentiation among aggregation sites.’
    • ‘The queen and half of the bees fly off to begin a new hive, and the remaining bees raise a new queen and continue reproducing.’
    • ‘The worker bees die at the end of summer and the impregnated queen starts a new colony when warm weather returns.’
    • ‘Among a species known as the little fire ant, both queens and males reproduce asexually, a new study has found.’
    • ‘In the ant Leptothorax albipennis, the queen is carried during colony emigration.’
  • 5An adult female cat that has not been spayed.

    • ‘Mousers left their prey, elder toms left their warm places by the fire, kittens left their meals, queens grabbed a kitten from their nest, and they all ran to the woods.’
    cat, domestic cat, wild cat, alley cat, kitten
    View synonyms
  • 6informal A homosexual man, especially one regarded as ostentatiously effeminate.

    homosexual man, homosexual, gay
    View synonyms

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1queen it over(of a woman) behave in an unpleasantly superior way towards (someone)

    ‘Monique was queening it over everybody’
    • ‘Her in-laws irked her, and she tried to queen it over them, with results resembling the outcome likely to have occurred if Isabella of Castile had issued edicts in a church hall on bingo night.’
    • ‘In scene one, Edie, the make-believe cheerleader, queens it over bashful high-school boy Tom.’
    • ‘I've no element of self-loathing but I do realise that part of my success is just me showing off, and wanting to queen it over other people, to be frank with you.’
    • ‘Formerly the Queen of the Groucho Club, she now spends more time queening it over Brighton where she lives.’
  • 2Chess
    Convert (a pawn) into a queen when it reaches the opponent's back rank on the board.

    • ‘The Black pawn could only be stopped from queening by allowing a drawn king and pawn endgame.’
    • ‘Both players queened a pawn after 56 moves, but Korchnoi managed to check and grab the knight leaving him up 2 passed pawns, and Galliamova resigned after 64 moves.’
    • ‘Winning one more pawn, Saravanan never looked back and closed in on his opponent in a rook-bishop-knight ending by queening his pawn.’
    • ‘But it was still enough, and as both players queened a pawn, it was Bareev who was first to check.’
    • ‘A Slav drawn in 22 moves after a short burst of excitement where Kramnik gave up his queen, then queened a pawn to re-establish material equality.’

Origin

Old English cwēn, of Germanic origin; related to quean.

Pronunciation

queen

/kwiːn/

Main definitions of queen in English

: queen1Queen2

Queen2

proper noun

  • A British rock group featuring vocalist Freddie Mercury (1946–91). Queen were known for their extravagant, almost operatic brand of rock, as exemplified by the hugely successful ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (1975).

Pronunciation

Queen

/kwiːn/