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queen (n.)

Old English cwen "queen, female ruler of a state, woman, wife," from Proto-Germanic *kwoeniz (source also of Old Saxon quan "wife," Old Norse kvaen, Gothic quens), ablaut variant of *kwenon (source of quean), from PIE root *gwen- "woman."

The original sense seems to have been "wife," specialized by Old English to "wife of a king." In Old Norse, still mostly of a wife generally, as in kvan-fang "marriage, taking of a wife," kvanlauss "unmarried, widowed," kvan-riki "the domineering of a wife."

English is one of the few Indo-European languages to have a word for "queen" that is not a feminine derivative of a word for "king." The others are Scandinavian: Old Norse drottning, Danish dronning, Swedish drottning "queen," in Old Norse also "mistress," but these also are held to be ultimately from male words, such as Old Norse drottinn "master."

Used of chess piece from mid-15c. (as a verb in chess, in reference to a pawn that has reached the last rank, from 1789), of playing card from 1570s. Of bees from c. 1600 (until late 17c., they generally were thought to be kings; as in "Henry V," I.ii, but the Anglo-Saxons knew better: their word was beomodor); queen bee in a figurative sense is from 1807. Meaning "male homosexual" (especially a feminine and ostentatious one) first certainly recorded 1924; probably here an alteration of quean, which is earlier in this sense. Queen Anne first used 1878 for "style characteristic of the time of Queen Anne of Great Britain and Ireland," who reigned 1702-14. Cincinnati, Ohio, has been the Queen City (of the West) since 1835.

Origin and meaning of queen

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Definitions of queen from WordNet
1
queen (n.)
the only fertile female in a colony of social insects such as bees and ants and termites; its function is to lay eggs;
queen (n.)
a female sovereign ruler;
Synonyms: queen regnant / female monarch
queen (n.)
the wife or widow of a king;
queen (n.)
something personified as a woman who is considered the best or most important of her kind;
Paris is the queen of cities
the queen of ocean liners
queen (n.)
a competitor who holds a preeminent position;
Synonyms: king / world-beater
queen (n.)
offensive term for a homosexual man;
Synonyms: fagot / faggot / fag / fairy / nance / pansy / queer / poof / poove / pouf
queen (n.)
one of four face cards in a deck bearing a picture of a queen;
queen (n.)
(chess) the most powerful piece;
queen (n.)
an especially large mole rat and the only member of a colony of naked mole rats to bear offspring which are sired by only a few males;
Synonyms: queen mole rat
queen (n.)
female cat;
Synonyms: tabby
2
queen (v.)
promote to a queen, as of a pawn in chess;
queen (v.)
become a queen;
her pawn queened
From wordnet.princeton.edu