(King) n. A Chinese musical instrument, consisting of resonant stones or metal plates, arranged
according to their tones in a frame of wood, and struck with a hammer.
(King), n. [AS. cyng, cyning; akin to OS. kuning, D. koning, OHG. kuning, G. könig, 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. &radic44. 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.
Kings will be tyrants from policy, when subjects are rebels from principle.Burke.
There was a State without king or nobles.R. Choate.
But yonder comes the powerful King of Day,Thomson.
Rejoicing in the east
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 Testament.
King is often used adjectively, or in combination, to denote preëminence 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 (Zoöl.), the little auk or sea dove. King bird of paradise. (Zoöl.),
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 (Zoöl.), a large and
handsome univalve shell 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. (Zoöl.) (a) The limulus or horseshoe crab. See Limulus. (b) The large
European spider crab or thornback King crow. (Zoöl.) (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 (Zoöl.), a large and handsome
eider duck inhabiting the arctic regions of both continents. King eagle (Zoöl.), 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 (Zoöl.), an American hake (Phycis regius),
found in deep water along the Atlantic coast. King monkey (Zoöl.), an African monkey inhabiting
Sierra Leone. King mullet (Zoöl.), a West Indian red mullet (Upeneus maculatus); so called on
account of its great beauty. Called also goldfish. King of terrors, death. King parrakeet (Zoöl.),
a handsome Australian parrakeet 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 (Zoöl.), any large species of
penguin of the genus Aptenodytes; esp., A. longirostris, of the Falkland Islands and Kerguelen Land,
and A. Patagonica, of Patagonia. King rail (Zoöl.), a small American rail living in fresh- water marshes.