queen

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See also: Queen

English[edit]

English Wikipedia has articles on:
Wikipedia

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English quene, queen, cwen, from Old English cwēn (queen), from Proto-West Germanic *kwāni, from Proto-Germanic *kwēniz (woman), from Proto-Indo-European *gʷénh₂s (woman).

Cognate with Scots queen, wheen (queen), Old Saxon quān ("wife"; > Middle Low German quene (elderly woman)), Dutch kween (woman past child-bearing age), Swedish kvinna (woman), Danish kvinde (woman), Icelandic kvon (wife), Gothic 𐌵𐌴𐌽𐍃 (qēns, wife), Norwegian dialectal kvån (wife).

Related to Old English cwene (woman; female serf, quean), see quean. Generally eclipsed non-native Middle English regina (queen), borrowed from Latin rēgīna (queen) (see Modern English regina). Doublet of gyne.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

queen (plural queens)

Queen Victoria, a 19th-century British queen (sense 2)
  1. The wife, consort, or widow of a king.
    The divorced king was looking for a new queen.
    Synonyms: queen consort, Regina
  2. A female monarch.
    Synonyms: queen regnant, Regina
    • 1582, Thomas Lupton, The Christian Against the Jesuite[1], London, retrieved 14 January 2022, page 50v:
      But our mercifull Queene Elizabeth hath not burned the popiſh prieſtes on the alters where they committed idolatrie in ſaying of Maſſe, and worſhipped a piece of breade for the bodie of Chriſte (which ſhee might haue done if ſhee would) and yet you count not her for a godly and mercifull Queene.
    • 2017 March 17, Sam Knight, “‘London Bridge Is Down’: The Secret Plan for the Days After the Queen’s Death”, in The Guardian[2], London, retrieved 16 January 2022:
      In 1952, at the last accession, there were only eight members of the new entity taking shape in the outline of the British Empire. The Queen was the head of state in seven of them, and she was proclaimed Head of the Commonwealth to accommodate India’s lone status as a republic.
  3. A woman whose pre-eminence, power, or forcefulness is comparable to that of a queen.
    1. (Christianity) The Virgin Mary (especially in formulations such as Queen of Heaven, Queen of Glory).
      Synonyms: (archaic) advocatrix, Blessed Virgin, Blessed Virgin Mary, (chiefly historical) Christotokos, lady, Madonna, Mother of God, Mother of Mercy, Our Lady, Our Lady of Sorrows, Queen of Heaven, Saint Mary, Star of the Sea, (chiefly Eastern Christianity) Theotokos, Virgin Mary
      • 1620, Thomas Tell-Troth [pseudonym of Joseph Swetnam], The Araignment of Lewd, Idle, Froward, and Unconstant Women: Or the Vanitie of Them, Choose You Whether[3], London, published 1807, retrieved 14 January 2022:
        [] and yet I will not ſay but amongſt duſt there is Pearle found, and in hard rockes Dyamonds of great value, and ſo amongſt many women there are ſome good, as that gracious and glorious Queene of all woman kinde the Virgin Mary the mother of al bliſſe, what wun her honour, but an humble minde and her paines and loue vnto our Sauiour Chriſt.
    2. An excellent woman.
    3. A woman pre-eminent in a particular group or field.
      • c. 1596–1598, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene ii], page 175:
        But now I was the Lord
        Of this faire manſion,maſter of my ſeruants,
        Queene ore my ſelfe : and euen now,but now.
      • 1973 April 1, Phyl Garland, “Sounds”, in Ebony[5], volume 28, number 6, Chicago: Johnson Publishing Co., retrieved 16 January 2022, page 33:
        Regardless of what one thinks of that Hollywoodish distortion of her life story, it did stimulate an interest in the late Lady Day, though one might speculate as to whether the effect would have been the same had the film starred someone other than Diana Ross, a reigning queen of pop culture.
    4. (slang, originally US) An attractive woman; a female partner in a romantic relationship.
      Synonym: honey
      • 1914, Franklin P. Adams ​, By and Large[6], Garden City, New York: Doulbleday, Page & Company, retrieved 15 January 2022, page 142:
        Know you the town is full of folks?
           Know you the shows are full of queens?
        That every mail is full of jokes
           Born of the nation's brightest beans?
      • 1999, Camika Spencer, When All Hell Breaks Loose[7], New York: Villard, →ISBN, retrieved 15 January 2022, page 38:
        When I find my queen, we’re having a whole tribe like our grandparents used to swing it back in the day.
  4. Something regarded as the greatest of its kind or as having pre-eminence or power comparable to that of a queen over a given area.
    • 1508, William Dunbar, “The Goldyn Targe”, in William Dunbar; Priscilla Bawcutt, editor, The Poems of William Dunbar, volume 1, Glasgow: Association for Scottish Literary Studies, published 1998, →ISBN, page 186:
      Thare saw I May, of myrthfull monethis quene.
    • 2006, John Milbank, Theology and Social Theory[8], 2nd edition, Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing, →ISBN, page 418:
      The foregoing eleven chapters of criticism were but preludes to an assertion: of theology as itself a social science, and the queen of the sciences for the inhabitants of the altera civitas, on pilgrimage through this temporary world.
  5. Queens (sense 5.2) of all four suits in the English pattern
    A carrom board with the red queen (sense 5.3) in the centre
    Referring to one of several items used in tabletop games:
    1. A chess piece that, under contemporary rules, is the most powerful, able to move any number of spaces horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
      Synonyms: (slang, vulgar, offensive) bitch, (slang) dame, (slang, rare) lady, (slang) old lady, (slang, vulgar, offensive) whore
      • 1562, Damiano da Odemira, Iames Rowbothum, transl., The Pleasaunt and Wittie Playe of the Cheasts Renewed, with Instructions Both to Learne It Easely, and to Play It Well, London, page A7v:
        For this cauſe that when he [the pawn] can procede so well in warre, as to arriue at the laſte rancke of hys enemies, he is choſen and made the beſt piece of the playe, to wit, he is the Quene.
      • 1761, Edmond Hoyle, An Essay Towards Making the Game of Chess Easily Learned[9], London, retrieved 13 January 2022, page 51:
        And, further, let us ſuppoſe, that your King is at Liberty to attack his Pawns upon one Side of the Board, by reckoning how many moves it will take your King to march and take thoſe two Pawns, and alſo, by adding the Number of Moves, which will be neceſſary for you to make a Queen with one of your Pawns: You will, by this Method, find out the exact number of Moves, before you can make a Queen.
    2. A playing card with a depiction of a queen on it, generally ranking next below the king and above the jack in a given suit.
      Synonyms: (vulgar, offensive, informal) bitch, (slang) cowgirl, (slang) girl, (slang) lady, (slang) mop squeezer
      • 1575, Gammer Gurton’s Nedle:
        There is 5. trumps beside the Queene, ye hindmost yu shalt finde her
      • 2003, Lou Krieger and Kathleen Keller Watterson, Internet Poker: How to Play and Beat Online Poker Games, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: ConJelCo, →ISBN, pages 84–85:
        Just remember that a nine or ten on the flop may trap you against the early raiser if he’s holding a big pair, or if he catches an ace or king or queen — or even a jack — on a later round.
    3. A red disk that is the most valuable piece in the Asian game of carrom.
      • 2014, Shahnaz Bashir, The Half Mother: A Novel, Gurgaon, India: Hachette India, →ISBN:
        Imran was good at carrom. Always after the bright red queen, the centre of attention on the board, he tussled to win it first.
  6. Worker bees around the queen (sense 6) of the hive, marked with a pink dot
    A reproductive female insect in a hive, such as an ant, bee, termite or wasp.
    Synonym: (obsolete) king
    • 2010, Thomas D. Seeley, Honeybee Democracy, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, →ISBN, page 37:
      Each time a worker shakes the queen, she grasps the queen with her forelegs and shakes her own body for a second or so, delivering 10 to 20 vigorous shakings of the queen []
  7. (rare) A queen apple.
  8. (originally UK) A queen scallop.
  9. (construction, obsolete) Ellipsis of queen post.
    • 1811, Skyring's Builder’s Prices:
      Truss framed with King Posts [] Do. with Kings and Queens.
  10. (slang, sometimes derogatory) A homosexual man, especially one regarded as effeminate. (See usage notes.)
    Synonyms: fag, faggot, fairy, fruit, Mary, nancy, Nancy Dawson, nancyboy, nelly, pansy, ponce, poof, poofter, shirtlifter, twink; see also Thesaurus:effeminate man, Thesaurus:male homosexual
    • 1893, C. H. Hughes, “Postscript to Paper on ‘Erotopathia’”, in The Alienist and Neurologist[10], volume 14, retrieved 4 February 2022, pages 731–732:
      [] all of these men are lasciviously dressed in womanly attire, short sleeves, low-necked dresses and the usual ball-room decorations and ornaments of women, feathered and ribboned head-dresses, garters, frills, flowers, ruffles, etc., and deport themselves as women. Standing or seated on a pedestal, but accessible to all the rest, is the naked queen (a male), whose phallic member, decorated with a ribbon, is subject to the gaze and osculations in turn, of all the members of this lecherous gang of sexual perverts and phallic fornicators.
    • 1919, Lawrence R. Murphy, Perverts by Official Order: The Campaign Against Homosexuals by the United States Navy, New York: Harrington Park Press, published 1988, →ISBN, page 57:
      [] operator Charles Zipf described the “feminine” attire found in Gianelli’s room, reported his description of other “queens,” and passed on “Salome’s” admission of having had sex with men from the U.S.S. Baltimore.
    • 1974 March 1, Bebe Scarpi, “Intro 2, a Threat to Transvestites?”, in Gay[11], volume 5, number 112, New York: Four Swords, retrieved 13 January 2022, page 5:
      Despite one's opinion of Sylvia I can attest to the purity of her intent and dedication, and, no one will dare deny she is one gutsy queen.
  11. An adult female cat capable of breeding.
    • 1898 August 6, The Ladies’ Field:
      A few outdoor houses for the queens are used.
    • 1906 September 1, C. S. Sedgwick, “Veterinary Notes”, in Pacific Fancier[12], volume 4, number 2, Los Angeles, retrieved 19 January 2022, page 25:
      When your queen has returned from the stud it is always advisable to keep her shut up until all restlessness has left her.
  12. Ellipsis of queen olive.
    • 1935 December 30, Foreign Agricultural Service, “Spanish Pickled Olive Production and Supplies”, in Foreign Crops and Markets[13], volume 31, number 27, Washington: United States Department of Agriculture, retrieved 4 February 2022, page 931:
      The combined quantity of Queens and Manzanillas to be pickled from the 1935 olive crop in the Seville District of Spain is estimated at 32,500 short tons, according to a report received from N. I. Nielsen, Agricultural Attaché at Paris.
    • 1984, United States International Trade Commission, Bottled Green Olives from Spain, Washington, page A-24:
      Prices for the two main types of Spanish style green olives - manzanillas and queens - vary according to the size of the crop of each. In some years queens will be more expensive than manzanillas []
  13. (LGBT, slang) Ellipsis of drag queen.
    • 2004, Steven J. Hopkins, “‘Let the Drag Race Begin’: The Rewards of Becoming a Queen”, in Journal of Homosexuality, volume 46, number 3–4, DOI:10.1300/J082v46n03_08, ISSN 1540-3602, page 144:
      Since exposure plays a major role in the success of a queen, even those performers who do not win a Talent Night can obtain bookings by the bar and establish a reputation.
  14. (attributive, originally Canada, US) Pertaining to a queen-size bed or queen-size bedding.
    Synonyms: queen-size, queen-sized
    • 1994 March 21, Leonore Fleischer, “Sales & Bargains”, in New York, volume 27, number 12, ISSN 0028-7369, page 73:
      Ad Hoc Softwares has bright hand-blocked floral cotton bed linens from India, including flat full/queen sheets, were $85, now $51; standard pillowcases, were $18 each, now $10.80 []
  15. A monarch butterfly (Danaus spp., especially Danaus gilippus).

Usage notes[edit]

  • (homosexual man): The term can be either derogatory or a self-identification. (Compare nigger.)
  • (LGBT): Some of the people who were historically (in the late 1960s and 1970s) described as “queens” or “drag queens” or “street queens” are now sometimes considered transgender, especially when their gender identity is female or non-binary/genderqueer rather than male. Some people, like Sylvia Rivera, self-identified as both a “transgender person” and a “street queen”. Drag queens, too, can have any gender identity.

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Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]

Chess pieces in English · chess pieces, chessmen (see also: chess) (layout · text)
♚ ♛ ♜ ♝ ♞ ♟
king queen rook, castle bishop knight pawn
Playing cards in English · playing cards (layout · text)
Ace of spades.svg 2 of spades.svg 3 of spades.svg 4 of spades.svg 5 of spades.svg 6 of spades.svg 7 of spades.svg
ace deuce, two three four five six seven
8 of spades.svg 9 of spades.svg 10 of spades.svg Jack of spades2.svg Queen of spades2.svg King of spades2.svg Joker black 02.svg
eight nine ten jack, knave queen king joker

Verb[edit]

queen (third-person singular simple present queens, present participle queening, simple past and past participle queened)

A white queen (n., sense 5.1) on a chessboard
  1. (intransitive, obsolete) To act the part of a queen; to behave imperiously; to queen it.
  2. (transitive) To make a queen or (figuratively) to give the status of a queen.
  3. (chess) To promote a pawn, usually to a queen.
  4. (beekeeping) To be the queen bee of a colony.
    • 1882 November 22, E. L. Briggs, “Development of ‘The Coming Bee’”, in The American Bee Journal[14], volume 18, number 47, retrieved 15 January 2022, page 743:
      They have all been queened by imported stock, or the best of home-bred mothers.
    • 1957, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (India), The Wealth of India, page 263:
      The nucleus should not be queened by a queen from any of the parent colonies.
  5. (beekeeping) To provide with a new queen bee.
    Antonym: dequeen
    • 1896, The Progressive Bee-Keeper, page 320:
      In queening his apiary, he aims to keep about half of the queens of the current season's rearing, and the other of the summer preceding.
    • 1967, Everett Franklin Phillips, Are Bees Reflex Machines?:
      If such a queen is immediately allowed to run through the entrance of a queenless colony, the queening is usually successful.
    • 1980, Robert E. Donovan, Hunting Wild Bees:
      Once you have introduced the queen, the first three steps of the capture have been completed, namely: blocking the tree, providing an alternate home, and queening the colony.
    • 2007, NPCS Board of Consultants & Engineers, The Complete Book on Beekeeping and Honey Processing, →ISBN, page 389:
      Sealed cells with about to emerge queens are used for queening the divisions.
  6. (BDSM, slang, transitive, usually of a woman) To sit on a person’s face to receive oral sex, typically while straddling the person’s head.
    Synonyms: face-sit, king
    • 1996, Lorelei, The Mistress Manual: The Good Girl’s Guide to Female Dominance, Scranton, Pennsylvania: Berkana Press, →ISBN, page 138:
      The classic posture, in which you lie on your back while the male serves you, may make him feel arrogant and in charge. Try Queening him. Have him lie on his back while you sit on his face (make sure he has an airway through either his mouth or his nose).
    • 2012, Yolanda Celbridge, The Castle of Maldona:
      She saw his pink tongue flickering on Clare's exposed nympha as she queened him, her love juices shining on his chin and throat []

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Middle English[edit]

Noun[edit]

queen

  1. Alternative form of quene (queen)

Yola[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English quene, from Old English cwēn, from Proto-West Germanic *kwāni.

Noun[edit]

queen

  1. queen
    • 1867, SONGS, ETC. IN THE DIALECT OF FORTH AND BARGY:
      Earch myde was a queen.
      Each maid was a queen.

References[edit]

  • Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, page 96