Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Sense: 1-4
Date: 1500-1600
Origin: Probably from qu, short form of Latin quando 'when', used as a direction in actors' copies of plays.
Sense: 5
Date: 1700-1800
Language: French
Origin: queue 'tail, cue', from Latin cauda

cue

1 noun
     
Related topics: Other Games
cue1 [countable]
1 an action or event that is a signal for something else to happen
cue for
Our success was the cue for other companies to press ahead with new investment.
somebody's cue to do something
I think that's my cue to explain why I'm here.
2 a word, phrase, or action in a play that is a signal for the next person to speak or act:
She stood nervously in the wings waiting for her cue.
miss your cue (=not speak or act when you are supposed to)
3

(right/as if) on cue

happening or done at exactly the right moment:
And then, on cue, the weather changed.
As if on cue, Sam arrived.
4

take your cue from somebody

to use someone else's actions or behaviour to show you what you should do or how you should behave:
With interest rates, the smaller banks will take their cue from the Federal Bank.
cue
5DGO a long straight wooden stick used for hitting the ball in games such as billiards and pool

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary