In chess, the king is the most important piece, of which each player has one, which the opponent has to checkmate in order to win. The king can move in any direction, including diagonally, to any adjacent square that is not attacked by an opponent's piece or pawn. In cards, the king is the highest-ranking court card.
king and country the objects of allegiance for a patriot whose head of State is a king; the phrase is recorded from the early 17th century. Your King and Country need you was the caption for a recruiting advertisement of 1914, showing Lord Kitchener with pointing finger. The recruiting slogan was coined by Eric Field, July 1914.
the king can do no wrong something cannot be wrong if it is done by someone of sovereign power, who alone is not subject to the laws of the land. The saying is recorded from the mid 17th century, but a mid 16th-century source has the words, ‘It is commonly said…a king is above his laws,’ and the same idea may have been echoed in the words of ex-President Nixon (1913–94), reflecting on events of Watergate, when he said, ‘When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.’
King Charles's head an obsession resembling that of Dickens's character ‘Mr Dick’ in David Copperfield (1850), who ‘had been for upwards of ten years endeavouring to keep King Charles the First out of the Memorial; but he had been constantly getting into it, and was there now.’
King James Bible another name for the Authorized Version, dedicated to James I.
King Kong a huge apelike monster featured in the film King Kong (1933); captured and brought to New York, it escapes, climbing the Empire State Building with Fay Wray in its grasp before being shot down from besieging aeroplanes.
King of Arms in the UK, a chief herald. Those now at the College of Arms are the Garter, Clarenceux, and Norroy and Ulster Kings of Arms; the Lyon King of Arms has jurisdiction in Scotland.
king of beasts a name for the lion; its supposed rank in the hierarchy of animals is recorded from classical times.
king of birds the eagle (used in reference to the bird's perceived grandeur); one of Aesop's fables tells how the wren attempted to steal the title.
King of Kings in the Christian Church, used as a name or form of address for God. Also, a title assumed by certain kings who rule over lesser kings.
King of Rome the title born by the son (1811–32) of Napoleon I, who had gone into exile as a child with his mother, Marie-Louise of Austria, and died young; he was latterly known by the Austrian title of Duke of Reichstadt.
King of the Romans the prospective head of the Holy Roman Empire; the title was assumed after selection by the seven Electors and coronation at Aachen, but prior to coronation as Emperor by the Pope at Rome.
King over the Water the Jacobite name for the exiled James II, ‘over the water’ in France, and later for his son and grandson, the Old Pretender and the Young Pretender. Jacobites were said to drink a secret toast to the Stuart king by passing their glasses over a bowl of water as a signal.
a king's chaff is worth more than other men's corn even minor benefits available to those attending on a sovereign are more substantial that the best that can be offered by those of lesser status. The saying is recorded from the early 17th century.
king's evil a name for scrofula, in England and France formerly held to be curable by the royal touch. The practice of touching for the king's evil continued from the time of Edward the Confessor to the death of Queen Anne in 1714. The Office for the ceremony has not been printed in the Prayer-book since 1719.
See also a cat may look at a king, kings, take the king's shilling.
king / king/ • n. 1. the male ruler of an independent state, esp. one who inherits the position by right of birth: [as title] King Henry VIII. ∎ a person or thing regarded as the finest or most important in its sphere or group: a country where football is king. ∎ used in names of animals and plants that are particularly large, e.g., king cobra. 2. the most important chess piece, of which each player has one, which the opponent has to checkmate in order to win. The king can move in any direction, including diagonally, to any adjacent square that is not attacked by an opponent's piece or pawn. ∎ a piece in the game of checkers with extra capacity for moving, made by crowning an ordinary piece that has reached the opponent's baseline. ∎ a playing card bearing a representation of a king, normally ranking next below an ace.PHRASES: live like a king (or queen) live in great comfort and luxury.DERIVATIVES: king·li·ness n.king·ly adj.king·ship / -ˌship/ n.
King ★★★ 1978
Docudrama with terrific cast follows the life and career of one of the greatest non-violent civil rights leaders of all time, Martin Luther King. 272m/C VHS, DVD . Paul Winfield, Cicely Tyson, Roscoe Lee Browne, Ossie Davis, Art Evans, Ernie Banks, Howard E. Rollins Jr., William Jordan, Cliff DeYoung; D: Abby Mann; W: Abby Mann; M: Billy Goldenberg. TV
Hence kingdom †kingship OE.; realm XIII. OE. cyningdōm. kingfisher XVI (†king's- XV). In comb. applied to large or principal features, as king-bolt (XIX), -post (XVIII). king's evil scrofula, for which the sovereign ‘touched’. XIV.