Definition of queen in English:

queen

noun

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

    • ‘Of course, this in no way undermines the contributions of other historical British queens and queen consorts.’
    • ‘Elizabeth Bowes Lyon was mother to a queen, wife to a king, sister-in-law to another king.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And for those who watched the funeral of the Princess of Wales, it was when Elton John sang that the queen was most moved.’
    • ‘Only 30% favour having a king or queen who inherits the position for life.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Zapatero is now pushing a proposal that would allow Spanish princesses to become queens if they are the firstborn.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘She became a queen and gave birth to a future queen, and in the process became beloved by the British people.’
    • ‘In the 1840s, the Ardverikie Estate was leased by the Duke of Abercorn, a senior aide to Prince Albert, the queen's husband.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, England's first female rulers, the sixteenth-century Tudor queens Mary I and Elizabeth I, assumed power as single women.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The English and French monarchs were kings and queens of the land and not the people.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Here, as we have seen, their ruler was the pro-Roman queen, Cartimandua whose seat may have been at Stanwick, near Scotch Corner.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The basic thing for a sovereign king or a queen of a country is service to the people.’
    monarch, sovereign, head of state, ruler, crown, her majesty
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A king's wife.
      • ‘The king, queen and prince also sent messages of condolence.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His tolerance to other religions perhaps came from his many queens including his principle wife who was a Hindu.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘King Gyanendra, who ascended the throne June 4, declared his wife, Princess Komal, the queen of Nepal the same day.’
      • ‘Prince Gyanendra contradicted officials who suggested that Crown Prince Dipendra killed King Birendra, the queen and six other royals in a dispute.’
      • ‘The drama tells the story of a king who takes a second wife because his Chinese queen is unable to bear children.’
      • ‘Convention has it that when the king comes to the throne, his wife then becomes queen.’
      • ‘Born in 1542, she married the French Dauphin in 1558 and became the queen consort a year later.’
      • ‘Salomon, the eldest, arrived first, around 1607, and his earliest works were for the queen consort, Anne of Denmark.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘While Elliott remains a staunch supporter of King Louis XVI and his queen, Marie Antoinette, the Duke sides with the anti-monarchists.’
      • ‘He immediately wrote a note to his wife, the queen.’
      • ‘Before departing, the king directed that his queen consort should follow him to London within about twenty days.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2A woman or thing regarded as excellent or outstanding of its kind.
      ‘the queen of romance novelists’
      ‘Venice: Queen of the Adriatic’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We are throwing down the gauntlet: Who is the next queen of Wife Swap?’
      • ‘Mary Quant, undoubtedly fashion queen of the decade, rose to fame in 1966.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The world famous queen of fashion, Vivienne Westwood, holding her first ever fashion show in Shanghai!’
      • ‘Economics is often described as the queen of the social sciences.’
      • ‘For once, Kerry's queens of fashion were upstaged by a queen from another land - but they didn't seem to mind.’
      • ‘Long and thin or fat and tubular, pasta is the queen of comfort foods this winter.’
      • ‘And if that doesn't make me the official queen of Google, nothing will.’
      • ‘Former classical fashion queens such as Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy had a faithful following in the city.’
      • ‘In the studio the Eastenders cast will get makeovers from fashion queens Trinny and Susannah as part of a What Not To Wear special.’
      • ‘The HS748, the queen of the skies, has provided outstanding service to the Air Force and the nation in the past 37 years.’
      • ‘Hillary Luigio was a sporty half-Italian girl who was the queen of gossip.’
      • ‘The lifelong rivalry of cosmetics queens Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein makes for riveting reading.’
      • ‘Until recently, botanists have met with similar impenetrability when asking these questions about orchids, the glamour queens of the plant kingdom.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But most importantly, Kathie remains the undisputed queen of the council chamber.’
      • ‘This guy had more fashion sense than the queen of fashion.’
    3. 1.3A woman or girl chosen to hold the most important position in a festival or event.
      ‘football stars and homecoming queens’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘All significant events where I grew up involve people carted around town by tractor, including the carnival queens and carol singers.’
      • ‘The evening continued with Killybegs Festival Carnival led by the festival queen.’
      • ‘A host of carnival queens from the region clutched their brollies and smiled at onlookers as they led the procession down Drake Street.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Prestwich's own carnival queens will be selling the programmes outside the supermarket each Saturday and Sunday leading up to the big day itself.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The principal was about to announce homecoming king, queen, prince, and princess.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Another addition this year will be a festival queen and two princesses chosen from local girls.’
      • ‘Teenage girls were crowned queen of the potato festival.’
      • ‘Last Friday, however, the boys captured the warrior queen of the girls.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Yet the former beauty queen has worked her way to the fringes of the British establishment.’
      • ‘Leanne has had her heart set on becoming the carnival queen for a number of years and was really delighted.’
    4. 1.4dated (in the UK) the national anthem when there is a female sovereign.
    5. 1.5informal A man's wife or girlfriend.
  • 2The most powerful chess piece that each player has, able to move any number of unobstructed squares 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.’
    • ‘Garry was, however, able to save himself by sacrificing his queen for rook, knight and pawn, plus an attack.’
    • ‘Thus, in the context of a chess game, moving your queen to a square adjacent to your opponent's king counts as a check.’
    • ‘Miss Watson left her queen en prise against Miss Gooding, who failed to notice and eventually lost.’
    • ‘David moved his queen left diagonally two spaces.’
    • ‘‘In chess, when a queen is beleaguered, it is sometimes necessary to sacrifice a knight to save the game,’ he told the media.’
    • ‘Anand sacrificed his queen on move 22, getting a rook and knight in return.’
    • ‘Black must find a way to involve some more pieces beyond the queen and rook on c8.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Both players sacrificed their queens early, but Kasparov deliberated over a simple sacrifice exchange later in the match, which baffled analysts.’
    • ‘I moved my queen to mid-board, hoping to establish an offensive.’
    • ‘As far as movement, he's as versatile as the queen piece on a chess board.’
    • ‘With white he quickly swung his queen over to the kingside and proceeded to advance his pawns.’
    • ‘His point is that the queen's position on h6 gives white the additional annoying possibility of 12.Nh4!’
    • ‘After the queens came off on move 40, Korchnoi was left with 6 pawns to Galliamova's knight and 2 soldiers.’
    • ‘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 top tournaments, in which electronic boards are used, each set of pieces has an extra queen for each side.’
    • ‘In this position the queen in the corner is a problem, so I planned 2.b3 to bring it into play.’
    • ‘It was also obvious that Kasparov would soon be able to make a new queen, giving him an overwhelming material advantage.’
    • ‘Aware that I had already won a small victory by being the last standing player, I made a bold move with my queen.’
  • 3A playing card bearing a representation of a queen, normally ranking next below a king and above a jack.

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

    • ‘But in an unusual role reversal, paper wasp queens beg their young for a meal.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘To alleviate this problem, some people care for wasp queens in winter.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the ant Leptothorax albipennis, the queen is carried during colony emigration.’
    • ‘A major distinction in the social organization of ant societies is the number of queens that inhabit a colony.’
    • ‘As a result, the progeny of a single queen (a normal bee colony) make up a genetically diverse population.’
    • ‘Mole-rats are the only known mammals to live in large colonies presided over by a queen (like ants and termites).’
    • ‘Eusocial insect colonies are frequently headed by multiple reproductive queens.’
    • ‘Among a species known as the little fire ant, both queens and males reproduce asexually, a new study has found.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Should a colony containing more than one queen be separated into subunits, any subunit containing a queen can become independent over time.’
    • ‘Although queens heading neighboring colonies are not close relatives, fixation indices show significant genetic differentiation among aggregation sites.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, these queens also compete for reproductive shares within a colony of limited resources.’
    • ‘The worker bees die at the end of summer and the impregnated queen starts a new colony when warm weather returns.’
    • ‘Colonies of this species typically contain multiple queens, and most reproductive individuals mate within their parental nest without dispersing.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This potent fungus, which also kills termites, doesn't harm bees or affect their queen's production.’
    • ‘We present data on reproductive partitioning among queens in the ant Leptothorax rugatulus with special emphasis on relatedness and body size.’
  • 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.’
  • 6informal A male homosexual, typically one regarded as ostentatiously effeminate.

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1(of a woman) behave in an unpleasant and superior way toward.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But it was still enough, and as both players queened a pawn, it was Bareev who was first to check.’
    • ‘Winning one more pawn, Saravanan never looked back and closed in on his opponent in a rook-bishop-knight ending by queening his pawn.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

queen

/kwēn/