Communication. 1. A nonverbal sign used to prompt an event, behavior, or experience. 2. In psychology, a stimulus, consciously or unconsciously perceived, which elicits a type of behavior (e.g., a soft touch may prompt a hug or a kiss).
Usage: Because nonverbal cues suggest what may, might, or could happen next, they often elicit a response (e.g., a listener's shoulder-shrug reveals uncertainty, prompting the speaker to elaborate and further explain a speaking point).
Word origin. Cue is an ancient word derived from the 7,000-year-old Indo-European root word kwo-, for "who," "what," "when," "why," "where," and "how."