Definition of God Save the King/Queen noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


God Save the King/Queen

; NAmE
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the British national anthem (= song) CultureGod Save the QueenIt is not known who wrote the words or the music, but it was already a traditional song in the 18th century. When the country has a king, the word ‘Queen’ is replaced by ‘King’. The song has several verses, but usually only the first verse is sung:
God save our gracious Queen,Long live our noble Queen,God save the Queen.Send her victorious,Happy and glorious,Long to reign over us;God save the Queen.
Word Originevidence suggests a 17th-cent. origin for the complete words and tune of the British national anthem. The ultimate origin is obscure: the phrase “God save the King” occurs in various passages in the Bible, while as early as 1545 it was used as a sign for safe conduct in the navy, with the reply “long to reign over us.”