Meaning of “king” in the English Dictionary

"king" in British English

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kingnoun [ C ]

uk /kɪŋ/ us /kɪŋ/

king noun [ C ] (MALE RULER)

A2 (the title of) a male ruler of a country, who holds this position because of his royal birth:

King Richard II
the kings and queens of England

More examples

  • Prince Juan Carlos of Spain became king in 1975.
  • The coronation of a new king is, of course, a historic occasion.
  • Most modern kings and queens rule only in a formal way, without real power.
  • The Spanish Armada was sent by the king of Spain to invade England in 1588.
  • He bowed down before the king and begged for mercy.

king noun [ C ] (GAMES)

In the game of chess, the king is the most important piece on the board. It can move one square in any direction.

a card with a picture of a king on it, used in games:

the king of hearts

Idiom(s)

kingadjective [ before noun ]

uk /kɪŋ/ us /kɪŋ/

(Definition of “king” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"king" in American English

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kingnoun [ C ]

us /kɪŋ/

a man who rules a country because he has been born into a family which by tradition or law has the right to rule, or the title given to such a man:

King Philip IV of Spain

A king is a playing piece in the game of chess and each player’s most important piece.

A king is also a playing card with a picture of a king on it:

the king of hearts

If someone or something is called the king of an activity, that person is the best or the most important in that activity:

He was baseball’s home run king.

(Definition of “king” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"king" in Business English

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kingnoun [ C ]

uk /kɪŋ/ us

a person, company, or organization that is thought to be the best or most successful:

It is widely considered to be king of the supermarket chains.
sb/sth is king

used to say that someone or something is the most important part of something or has the most influence:

In mergers and acquisitions, cash is king.
They all followed the principle that the customer is king.
Media executives are fond of saying that content is king.

(Definition of “king” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)