General English


  • noun a factor that makes a high-value product different from an ordinary commodity


  • noun a prompt or message displayed on a screen to remind the user that an input is expected

Health Economics

  • (written as Cue)
    Any item of information that may be used in making decisions under uncertainty. Some cues can cause bias when questionnaire methods of research are used.

Media Studies

  • noun a written introduction to a piece of audio
  • noun a signal given for the next item to begin
  • noun a signal given through headphones to someone to begin broadcasting
  • verb to get a piece of pre-recorded audio or video ready to play at the correct time during a live broadcast


  • noun a long tapering stick used for striking the cue ball
  • noun a stimulus or pattern of stimuli, often not consciously perceived, that results in a specific learned behavioural response


  • A word, line, piece of business, etc., that notifies an actorthat it is time to speak a particular line or perform a particularaction. The origin of the word is uncertain, but it may derive fromthe first letter of Latin quando ('when') or qualis ('ofwhat kind').
    When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer.
    Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream(IV, i)

Origin & History of “cue”

Cue has several meanings in English, and it is not clear whether they can all be considered to be the same word. In the case of ‘pigtail’ and ‘billiard stick’, both of which appeared in the 18th century, cue is clearly just a variant spelling of queue, but although cue ‘actor’s prompt’ (16th c.) has been referred by some to the same source (on the grounds that it represents the ‘tail’ – from French queue ‘tail’ – of the previous actor’s speech) there is no direct evidence for this. Another suggestion is that it represents qu, an abbreviation of Latin quando ‘when’ which was written in actor’s scripts to remind them when to come in.