queue

Definitions

General English

Accounting

  • noun a series of documents such as orders or application forms which are dealt with in order
  • verb to form a line one after the other for something

Computing

  • noun a list of data or tasks that are waiting to be processed, or a series of documents that are dealt with in order
  • verb to add more data or tasks to the end of a queue

Electronics

  • A list of tasks, in a specified order, that await to be performed by computer. Examples include print queues and message queues. Also, a storage location for such documents, messages, or the like.
  • A sequence or list which awaits further action in a specified order. For instance, a hold queue.
  • A data structure in which items are inserted and removed in a specified order, usually FIFO.

Food

  • feminine tail, of an animal
  • feminine Handle of a pan

Health Economics

  • (written as Queue)
    Queues seem to be endemic in health care. Most of them are not the standing-in-line type, a major opportunity cost of which for the person waiting is the time not available for alternative uses. Queues mostly represent the postponement of care (including diagnostic care), whose consequences can vary from the non-existent (as when restoration to health occurs through natural processes) to the catastrophic (as when a rapidly fatal condition goes undiagnosed or untreated). In most Western countries with waiting lists, people are mainly waiting for elective surgery. In welfare terms what probably matters more than the numbers waiting is the time spent waiting, and the hazards to which that might expose the waiter: for example, someone waiting for a hip replacement steadily loses muscle strength, becomes more vulnerable to falls and also suffers pain and reduced mobility while a large number of waiting people may wait only for trivial periods.

Travel

  • noun a series of documents or telephone calls which are dealt with in order

Origin & History of “queue”

Etymologically a queue is simply a ‘tail’. That was the meaning of its Latin ancestor cauda, a word of unknown origin which has also given English caudal ‘of a tail’ (17th c.) and, via Italian, coda (18th c.) (literally a ‘tail’-piece). To begin with in English queue (acquired via French) was used only as a technical term in heraldry for a ‘tail’. It was not until the 18th century that metaphorical applications started to appear: to a ‘billiard stick’ (now spelled cue) and a ‘pigtail’. ‘Line of people waiting’ (which has never caught on in American English) emerged in the early 19th century.
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