Words

Difference Between Cue and Queue

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Main Difference

The main difference between the words cue and queue is that the word cue refers to a signal which encourages to take action, whereas the word queue indicates an ordered line or file.

Cue vs. Queue

Cue and queue are the two words with the same pronunciation but different meanings. cue refers to a signal which encourages to take action. The word queue indicates an ordered line or file. The word cue comes from the Latin “Quando,” which means “when.” The word queue id derived from a Latin word that means “tail.”

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The pronunciation of cue and queue is like the letter Q. Cue and queue are homophones of each other. There is a trick to differentiate between cue and queue. The word cue contains only three letters. The word queue is composed of five letters. Cue refers to billiards games. Besides, cue also refers to the signal that is for the beginning of something. Queue refers to a line in symmetry or the formation of a line.”

As a noun, the cue is any piece of sporting equipment or a signal. As a noun, the queue is the lining of people/other living or non-living things. It is also a braid of hair as a noun. As a verb, a cue is the signaling of something or someone. The act of striking a ball in a billiard game is also a cue. As a verb, queue holds the meaning of lining something up or the formation of a symmetric line.

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Also, cue and queue have some unusual meanings too. The word cue is used in live theater to refer to a sign that is given to actors. This cue reminds the actors to say or do something onstage. The word queue is used in the service of video streaming. The users add movies and TV shows to their watch list, and this is what we call online queues.

Comparison Chart

CueQueue
A signal which encourages a person to take some actionAny line or file in a specific order, the formation of a line
Parts of Speech
Noun, verbNoun, verb
Meaning as Noun
Any piece of sporting equipment or a signalThe lining of people or other living or non-living things
Meaning as a Verb
Signaling of something or someone/the act of striking ball in a billiards gameLining something up/the formation of a symmetric line
Origin
Latin “Quando,” which means “when.”A Latin word, which means “tail.”
Number of Alphabets
ThreeFive
Pronunciation
As the letter “Q.”As the letter “Q.”
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What is Cue?

The word cue is a verb as well as a noun. As a verb, a cue is the signaling of something or someone. The act of striking a ball in a billiard game is also a cue. As a noun, the cue is any piece of sporting equipment or a signal. In general, cue refers to a signal which encourages a person to take some action. It refers to an outside stimulus or signal that results in a specific action.

Another use of the word cue is in the context of film, TV, and theatres, where it refers to a sign that is given to actors. This cue reminds the actors to say or do something onstage. Cues are given to actors mostly in the form of cue cards. The example of the cue is in a sentence is, “It was as a cue to him, seeming to rouse him to do what he would never have dreamed of.” (“Call of the Wild” by Jack London).

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The word cue is also used in the context of sports. It also directs the stick used to hit the ball or puck in different games. These games include billiards, pool, shuffleboard, etc. The cue as a prompt comes from the use of Q (letter) in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was used as an abbreviation for the Latin word “Quando,” which has the meaning “when.”

Cue has many meanings as a verb. It means to give a cue to or for anything or someone. It also means “to set a piece of audio/ video equipment to play (any specific part of something recorded). Cue also refers to the use of a cue to strike the puck or ball in many games. The letters this word cue contains are only three. The origin of the word cue dates back to the mid-18th century. It derives from a Latin word denoting a long plait or pigtail.

There are also idioms containing the word cue. It means that cue is used in figurative meaning also. An example of such idiom is “right on cue.” This idiom means that any event, arrival, etc. has occurred at its proper time. Another idiomatic use of cue is “take a cue.” It means to respond to a prompt or suggestion accurately.

Examples

  • There was a small pause before Mr. Thomas cued up the next tape.
  • The actor asks before performing to cue him when the music is about to start so that he can turn on his mic.
  • Choose a cue before playing the game. Remember one thing that you will be over if you hit the cue into the wrong pocket.

What is a Queue?

The word queue is a noun as well as a verb. As a noun, a queue is the lining of people or other living or nonliving things. As a verb, queue holds the meaning of lining something up or the formation of a symmetric line. Queue refers to any line or file in a specific order. Queue refers to a line in symmetry or the formation of a line.” The word queue is composed of five letters. It is the most redundant word in the English language composed of 80% unnecessary spelling.

The word queue is used among services such as video streaming. The users add movies and TV shows to their watch list, and this is what we call online queues. The origination of the word queue dates back to the late 16th century. It is derived from French, based on Latin word ‘cauda’ meaning ‘tail.’ It is used as a heraldic term that denotes the tail of an animal.

In general, there are many meanings of the word queue. It is a line of people waiting or for any other purpose. As a noun, a queue is also a hair braid like a pigtail. In terms of computing, queue refers to a list of items in a file. The noun queue is more common in British English. In British English, it refers to a sequence of items. This sequence of the item can be a line of people or anything else. The queue has its use in certain phrases, too, such as “queue up.” It holds the meaning of starting or joining a line.

The word queue also has an idiomatic use in British English. There is an idiom with a queue “jump the queue.” This idiom means two things. One is that you are pushing your way ahead of others waiting for their turn in line and other that you are using status/power to get an unfair advantage.

Examples

  • There was a queue of spectators outside the circus marquee.
  • The flood refugees were queued for food outside the camp.
  • “There is not any queue at the gate of Patience.”

Key Differences

  1. Cue refers to a signal which encourages a person to take some action, whereas queue refers to any line or file in a specific order.
  2. The pronunciation of cue is like the letter Q, while the pronunciation of the letter queue is also as the letter Q.
  3. Cue also refers to the signal that is for the beginning of something on the flip side queue refers to a line in symmetry or the formation of a line.
  4. The word cue contains only three letters; conversely, the word queue is composed of five letters.
  5. As a noun, a cue is any piece of sporting equipment, or a signal on the contrary queue is the lining of people or other living or nonliving things as a noun, and the braid of hair.
  6. As a verb, a cue is the signaling of something or someone. The act of striking ball in a billiard game is also a cue; on the other hand, queue holds the meaning of lining something up or the formation of a symmetric line as a verb.
  7. The word cue is also used in live theater to refer to a sign that is given to actors. Inversely the word queue is used among video streaming services. The users add movies and TV shows to their watch list, and this is what we call online queues.
  8. The word cue comes from the Latin “Quando,” which means “when” on the other hand, the word queue comes from a Latin word meaning “tail.”

Conclusion

Cue and queue are different words that are homophones. They are different in their meaning, usage, context, etc.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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