1. The wife of a king.

2. A woman who is the sovereign of a kingdom; a female monarch; as, Elizabeth, queen of England; Mary, queen of Scots. "In faith, and by the heaven's quene." (Chaucer)

3. A woman eminent in power or attractions; the highest of her kind; as, a queen in society; also used figuratively of cities, countries, etc. " This queen of cities." " Albion, queen of isles."

4. The fertile, or fully developed, female of social bees, ants, and termites.

5. The most powerful, and except the king the most important, piece in a set of chessmen.

6. A playing card bearing the picture of a queen; as, the queen of spades. Queen apple. [Cf. OE. Quyne aple quince apple] A kind of apple; a queening. "Queen apples and red cherries." . Queen bee, a very large West Indian cameo conch (Cassis cameo). It is much used for making cameos. Queen consort, the wife of a reigning king. Queen dowager, the widow of a king. Queen gold, formerly a revenue of the queen consort of England, arising from gifts, fines, etc. Queen mother, a queen dowager who is also mother of the reigning king or queen. Queen of May. See May queen, under May.

<botany> Queen of the meadow, a heavy yellow powder consisting of a basic mercuric sulphate; formerly called turpetum minerale, or Turbith's mineral.

Origin: OE. Quen, quene, queen, quean, AS. Cwen wife, queen, woman; akin to OS. Quan wife, woman, Icel. Kvan wife, queen, Goth. Qens. See Quean.

(01 Mar 1998)

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