Advertisement

Definition of "key" []

  • A notched and grooved, usually metal implement that is turned to open or close a lock. (noun)
  • A similar device used for opening or winding: the key of a clock; a can that has a key attached. (noun)
  • A means of access, control, or possession. (noun)
  • A vital, crucial element. (noun)
  • A set of answers to a test. (noun)
  • A metal instrument, usually of a specifically contoured shape, that is made to fit a lock and, when rotated, operates the lock's mechanism (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • Any instrument that is rotated to operate a valve, clock winding mechanism, etc (noun)
  • A small metal peg or wedge inserted into keyways (noun)
  • Any of a set of levers operating a typewriter, computer, etc (noun)
  • Any of the visible parts of the lever mechanism of a musical keyboard instrument that when depressed set in motion the action that causes the instrument to sound (noun)
  • Any of the 24 major and minor diatonic scales considered as a corpus of notes upon which a piece of music draws for its tonal framework (noun)
  • The main tonal centre in an extended composition (noun)
  • The tonic of a major or minor scale (noun)
  • Something that is crucial in providing an explanation or interpretation (noun)
  • A means of achieving a desired end (noun)
  • A means of access or control (noun)
  • A list of explanations of symbols, codes, etc (noun)
  • A text that explains or gives information about a work of literature, art, or music (noun)
  • The correct initial move in the solution of a set problem (noun)
  • A systematic list of taxonomic characteristics, used to identify animals or plants (noun)
  • The dominant tonal value and colour intensity of a picture (noun)
  • A hand-operated device for opening or closing a circuit or for switching circuits (noun)
  • A hand-operated switch that is pressed to transmit coded signals, esp Morse code (noun)
  • The grooving or scratching of a surface or the application of a rough coat of plaster, etc, to provide a bond for a subsequent finish (noun)
  • Pitch (noun)
  • A characteristic mood or style (noun)
  • Level of intensity (noun)
  • A wooden wedge placed between a rail and a chair to keep the rail firmly in place (noun)
  • A wedge for tightening a joint or for splitting stone or timber (noun)
  • Any dry winged fruit, esp that of the ash (noun)
  • Determining the tonal value of a photograph (noun)
  • Of great importance; crucial (adjective)
  • To harmonize (with) (verb)
  • To adjust or fasten with a key or some similar device (verb)
  • To provide with a key or keys (verb)
  • To scratch the paintwork of (a car) with a key (verb)
  • To locate the position of (a piece of copy, artwork, etc) on a layout by the use of symbols (verb)
  • To include a distinguishing device in (an advertisement, etc), so that responses to it can be identified (verb)
  • To provide a keystone for (an arch) (verb)

www.Collinsdictionary.com (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "key" in a sentence
  • "_The key to the proper control of China and the building-up of the new Republican State is the railway key_ ...."
  • "My eye caught sight of the great key, _Pakenham's key_, lying there on the table."
  • "Say that I made bold to assert that you did not possess the key that would unlock the sacred places of her heart; and you may add further, that I say the _key is held by another_."