cues, queues

The words cues, queues sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Why do cues, queues sound the same even though they are completely different words?

The answer is simple: cues, queues are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    To braid or twist (hair) into a queue.

  2. :: noun

    Games A long tapered rod with a leather tip used to strike the cue ball in billiards and pool.

  3. :: noun

    Games A long stick with a concave attachment at one end for shoving disks in shuffleboard.

  4. :: noun

    A queue of hair.

  1. :: noun

    A line of waiting people or vehicles.

  2. :: noun

    A long braid of hair worn hanging down the back of the neck; a pigtail.

  3. :: noun

    Computer Science A sequence of stored data or programs awaiting processing.

  4. :: noun

    Computer Science A data structure from which the first item that can be retrieved is the one stored earliest.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition and Wordnik.

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About Homophones

Homophones (literally "same sound") are usually defined as words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of how they are spelled.

If they are spelled the same then they are also homographs (and homonyms); if they are spelled differently then they are also heterographs (literally "different writing").