The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
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
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.
Kings will be tyrants from policy, when subjects are
rebels from principle. --Burke.
There was a State without king or nobles. --R.
But yonder comes the powerful King of Day,
Rejoicing in the east --Thomson.
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.
3. A playing card having the picture of a king; as, the
king of diamonds.
4. The chief piece in the game of chess.
5. A crowned man in the game of draughts.
6. pl. The title of two historical books in the Old
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.
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 (Zool.), the little auk or sea dove.
King bird of paradise. (Zool.), 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 (Zool.), 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. (Zool.)
(a) The limulus or horseshoe crab. See Limulus.
(b) The large European spider crab or thornback (Maia
(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. (Zool.)
(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 (Zool.), a large and handsome eider duck
(Somateria spectabilis), inhabiting the arctic regions
of both continents.
King eagle (Zool.), 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 (Zool.), an American hake (Phycis regius),
found in deep water along the Atlantic coast.
King monkey (Zool.), an African monkey (Colobus
polycomus), inhabiting Sierra Leone.
King mullet (Zool.), a West Indian red mullet (Upeneus
maculatus); -- so called on account of its great beauty.
Called also goldfish.
King of terrors, death.
King parrakeet (Zool.), 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 (Zool.), 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 (Zool.), a small American rail (Rallus
elegans), living in fresh-water marshes. The upper parts
are fulvous brown, striped with black; the breast is deep
King salmon (Zool.), 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 (Zool.), 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
King's yellow, a yellow pigment, consisting essentially of
sulphide and oxide of arsenic; -- called also yellow
King tody (Zool.), 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 (Zool.), 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
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.