King King, n. [AS. cyng, cyning; akin to OS. kuning, D. koning, OHG. kuning, G. k["o]nig, Icel. konungr, Sw. konung, Dan. konge; formed with a patronymic ending, and fr. the root of E. kin; cf. Icel. konr a man of noble birth. [root]44. See {Kin}.] 1. A chief ruler; a sovereign; one invested with supreme authority over a nation, country, or tribe, usually by hereditary succession; a monarch; a prince. ``Ay, every inch a king.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Kings will be tyrants from policy, when subjects are rebels from principle. --Burke. [1913 Webster]

There was a State without king or nobles. --R. Choate. [1913 Webster]

But yonder comes the powerful King of Day, Rejoicing in the east --Thomson. [1913 Webster]

2. One who, or that which, holds a supreme position or rank; a chief among competitors; as, a railroad king; a money king; the king of the lobby; the king of beasts. [1913 Webster]

3. A playing card having the picture of a king[1]; as, the king of diamonds. [1913 Webster]

4. The chief piece in the game of chess. [1913 Webster]

5. A crowned man in the game of draughts. [1913 Webster]

6. pl. The title of two historical books in the Old Testament. [1913 Webster]

Note: King is often used adjectively, or in combination, to denote pre["e]minence or superiority in some particular; as, kingbird; king crow; king vulture. [1913 Webster]

{Apostolic king}. See {Apostolic}.

{King-at-arms}, or {King-of-arms}, the chief heraldic officer of a country. In England the king-at-arms was formerly of great authority. His business is to direct the heralds, preside at their chapters, and have the jurisdiction of armory. There are three principal kings-at-arms, viz., Garter, Clarencieux, and Norroy. The latter (literally north roy or north king) officiates north of the Trent.

{King auk} (Zo["o]l.), the little auk or sea dove.

{King bird of paradise}. (Zo["o]l.), See {Bird of paradise}.

{King card}, in whist, the best unplayed card of each suit; thus, if the ace and king of a suit have been played, the queen is the king card of the suit.

{King Cole}, a legendary king of Britain, who is said to have reigned in the third century.

{King conch} (Zo["o]l.), a large and handsome univalve shell ({Cassis cameo}), found in the West Indies. It is used for making cameos. See {Helmet shell}, under {Helmet}.

{King Cotton}, a popular personification of the great staple production of the southern United States.

{King crab}. (Zo["o]l.) (a) The limulus or horseshoe crab. See {Limulus}. (b) The large European spider crab or thornback ({Maia squinado}). (c) A large crab of the northern Pacific ({Paralithodes camtshatica}), especially abundant on the coasts of Alaska and Japan, and popular as a food; called also {Alaskan king crab}.

{King crow}. (Zo["o]l.) (a) A black drongo shrike ({Buchanga atra}) of India; -- so called because, while breeding, they attack and drive away hawks, crows, and other large birds. (b) The {Dicrurus macrocercus} of India, a crested bird with a long, forked tail. Its color is black, with green and blue reflections. Called also {devil bird}.

{King duck} (Zo["o]l.), a large and handsome eider duck ({Somateria spectabilis}), inhabiting the arctic regions of both continents.

{King eagle} (Zo["o]l.), an eagle ({Aquila heliaca}) found in Asia and Southeastern Europe. It is about as large as the golden eagle. Some writers believe it to be the imperial eagle of Rome.

{King hake} (Zo["o]l.), an American hake ({Phycis regius}), found in deep water along the Atlantic coast.

{King monkey} (Zo["o]l.), an African monkey ({Colobus polycomus}), inhabiting Sierra Leone.

{King mullet} (Zo["o]l.), a West Indian red mullet ({Upeneus maculatus}); -- so called on account of its great beauty. Called also {goldfish}.

{King of terrors}, death.

{King parrakeet} (Zo["o]l.), a handsome Australian parrakeet ({Platycercys scapulatus}), often kept in a cage. Its prevailing color is bright red, with the back and wings bright green, the rump blue, and tail black.

{King penguin} (Zo["o]l.), any large species of penguin of the genus {Aptenodytes}; esp., {Aptenodytes longirostris}, of the Falkland Islands and Kerguelen Land, and {Aptenodytes Patagonica}, of Patagonia.

{King rail} (Zo["o]l.), a small American rail ({Rallus elegans}), living in fresh-water marshes. The upper parts are fulvous brown, striped with black; the breast is deep cinnamon color.

{King salmon} (Zo["o]l.), the quinnat. See {Quinnat}.

{King's counsel}, or {Queen's counsel} (Eng. Law), barristers learned in the law, who have been called within the bar, and selected to be the king's or queen's counsel. They answer in some measure to the advocates of the revenue (advocati fisci) among the Romans. They can not be employed against the crown without special license. --Wharton's Law Dict.

{King's cushion}, a temporary seat made by two persons crossing their hands. [Prov. Eng.] --Halliwell.

{The king's English}, correct or current language of good speakers; pure English. --Shak.

{King's evidence} or {Queen's evidence}, testimony in favor of the Crown by a witness who confesses his guilt as an accomplice. See under {Evidence}. [Eng.]

{King's evil}, scrofula; -- so called because formerly supposed to be healed by the touch of a king.

{King snake} (Zo["o]l.), a large, nearly black, harmless snake ({Ophiobolus getulus}) of the Southern United States; -- so called because it kills and eats other kinds of snakes, including even the rattlesnake.

{King's spear} (Bot.), the white asphodel ({Asphodelus albus}).

{King's yellow}, a yellow pigment, consisting essentially of sulphide and oxide of arsenic; -- called also {yellow orpiment}.

{King tody} (Zo["o]l.), a small fly-catching bird ({Eurylaimus serilophus}) of tropical America. The head is adorned with a large, spreading, fan-shaped crest, which is bright red, edged with black.

{King vulture} (Zo["o]l.), a large species of vulture ({Sarcorhamphus papa}), ranging from Mexico to Paraguay, The general color is white. The wings and tail are black, and the naked carunculated head and the neck are briliantly colored with scarlet, yellow, orange, and blue. So called because it drives away other vultures while feeding.

{King wood}, a wood from Brazil, called also {violet wood}, beautifully streaked in violet tints, used in turning and small cabinetwork. The tree is probably a species of {Dalbergia}. See {Jacaranda}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


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