Definition of Key

1. Noun. Metal device shaped in such a way that when it is inserted into the appropriate lock the lock's mechanism can be rotated.

Terms within: Bit, Shank, Stem
Generic synonyms: Device
Specialized synonyms: Ignition Key, Latchkey, Master, Master Key, Passe-partout, Passkey

2. Verb. Identify as in botany or biology, for example.

3. Adjective. Serving as an essential component. "Computers are fundamental to modern industrial structure"
Exact synonyms: Cardinal, Central, Fundamental, Primal
Similar to: Important, Of Import
Derivative terms: Center, Center

4. Noun. Something crucial for explaining. "The key to development is economic integration"
Generic synonyms: Explanation

5. Verb. Provide with a key. "We were keyed after the locks were changed in the building"
Generic synonyms: Furnish, Provide, Render, Supply

6. Noun. Pitch of the voice. "He spoke in a low key"
Generic synonyms: Pitch

7. Verb. Vandalize a car by scratching the sides with a key. "His new Mercedes was keyed last night in the parking lot"
Generic synonyms: Vandalise, Vandalize

8. Noun. Any of 24 major or minor diatonic scales that provide the tonal framework for a piece of music.
Exact synonyms: Tonality
Generic synonyms: Musical Notation
Specialized synonyms: Major Key, Major Mode, Minor Key, Minor Mode, Home Key, Tonic Key
Antonyms: Atonality
Derivative terms: Tonal

9. Verb. Regulate the musical pitch of.
Category relationships: Music
Generic synonyms: Chord, Harmonise, Harmonize

10. Noun. A kilogram of a narcotic drug. "They were carrying two keys of heroin"
Language type: Argot, Cant, Jargon, Lingo, Patois, Slang, Vernacular
Generic synonyms: Kg, Kilo, Kilogram

11. Verb. Harmonize with or adjust to. "Key one's actions to the voters' prevailing attitude"
Generic synonyms: Harmonise, Harmonize, Reconcile

12. Noun. A winged often one-seed indehiscent fruit as of the ash or elm or maple.
Exact synonyms: Key Fruit, Samara
Generic synonyms: Achene

13. Noun. United States lawyer and poet who wrote a poem after witnessing the British attack on Baltimore during the War of 1812; the poem was later set to music and entitled 'The Star-Spangled Banner' (1779-1843).
Exact synonyms: Francis Scott Key
Generic synonyms: Attorney, Lawyer, Poet

14. Noun. A coral reef off the southern coast of Florida.
Exact synonyms: Cay, Florida Key
Group relationships: Everglade State, Fl, Florida, Sunshine State
Generic synonyms: Coral Reef

15. Noun. (basketball) a space (including the foul line) in front of the basket at each end of a basketball court; usually painted a different color from the rest of the court. "He dominates play in the paint"
Exact synonyms: Paint
Category relationships: Basketball, Basketball Game, Hoops
Group relationships: Basketball Court
Terms within: Foul Line
Generic synonyms: Space

16. Noun. A list of answers to a test. "Some students had stolen the key to the final exam"
Generic synonyms: List, Listing

17. Noun. A list of words or phrases that explain symbols or abbreviations.
Generic synonyms: List, Listing
Specialized synonyms: Key Word

18. Noun. A generic term for any device whose possession entitles the holder to a means of access. "A safe-deposit box usually requires two keys to open it"
Generic synonyms: Positive Identification

19. Noun. Mechanical device used to wind another device that is driven by a spring (as a clock).
Exact synonyms: Winder
Generic synonyms: Mechanical Device
Specialized synonyms: Watch Key
Derivative terms: Wind

20. Noun. The central building block at the top of an arch or vault.
Exact synonyms: Headstone, Keystone
Group relationships: Arch
Generic synonyms: Building Block
Specialized synonyms: Coign, Coigne, Quoin

21. Noun. A lever (as in a keyboard) that actuates a mechanism when depressed.
Group relationships: Action, Action Mechanism
Specialized synonyms: Backspace, Backspace Key, Backspacer, Command Key, Control Key, Return, Return Key, Shift, Shift Key, Space Bar, Tab, Tab Key, Telegraph Key
Group relationships: Keyboard
Generic synonyms: Lever

Definition of Key

1. n. An instrument by means of which the bolt of a lock is shot or drawn; usually, a removable metal instrument fitted to the mechanism of a particular lock and operated by turning in its place.

2. v. t. To fasten or secure firmly; to fasten or tighten with keys or wedges.

3. n. A metallic lever by which the circuit of the sending or transmitting part of a station equipment may be easily and rapidly opened and closed; any device for closing or opening an electric circuit.

4. n. A simplified version or analysis which accompanies something as a clue to its explanation, a book or table containing the solutions to problems, ciphers, allegories, or the like, or a table or synopsis of conspicuous distinguishing characters of members of a taxonomic group.

Definition of Key

1. Noun. An object designed to open and close a lock. ¹

2. Noun. An object designed to fit between two other objects (such as a shaft and a wheel) in a mechanism and maintain their relative orientation. ¹

3. Noun. A crucial step or requirement. ¹

4. Noun. A guide explaining the symbols or terminology of a map or chart; a legend. ¹

5. Noun. A guide to the correct answers of a worksheet or test. ¹

6. Noun. (computing) One of several small, usually square buttons on a typewriter or computer keyboard, mostly corresponding to text characters. ¹

7. Noun. (music) One of a number of rectangular moving parts on a piano or musical keyboard, each causing a particular sound or note to be produced. ¹

8. Noun. (music) One of various levers on a musical instrument used to select notes, such as a lever opening a hole on a woodwind. ¹

9. Noun. (music) A hierarchical scale of musical notes on which a composition is based ¹

10. Noun. (historical) A manual electrical switching device primarily used for the transmission of Morse code. ¹

11. Noun. (cryptography) A piece of information (e.g. a passphrase) used to encode or decode a message or messages. ¹

12. Noun. (computing) In a relational database, a field used as an index into another table (not necessarily unique). ¹

13. Noun. (computing) A value that uniquely identifies an entry in an associative array. ¹

14. Noun. (basketball) The free-throw lane together with the circle surrounding the free-throw line, the free-throw lane having formerly been narrower, giving the area the shape of a skeleton key hole. ¹

15. Noun. (biology) A series of logically organized groups of discriminating information which aims to allow the user to correctly identify a taxon. ¹

16. Noun. (slang) kilogram ¹

17. Adjective. Indispensable. ¹

18. Adjective. Important, salient. ¹

19. Verb. To fit (a lock) with a key. ¹

20. Verb. To fit (pieces of a mechanical assembly) with a key to maintain the orientation between them. ¹

21. Verb. To mark or indicate with a symbol indicating membership in a class. ¹

22. Verb. (context: telegraphy and radio telegraphy) To depress (a telegraph key). ¹

23. Verb. (context: radio) To operate (the transmitter switch of a two-way radio). ¹

24. Verb. (computing) (''more usually'' '''to key in''') To enter (information) by typing on a keyboard or keypad. ¹

25. Verb. (colloquial) To vandalize (a car, etc.) by scratching with an implement such as a key. ¹

26. Verb. To link (as one might do with a key or legend). ¹

27. Verb. (intransitive) (biology mostly taxonomy) To be identified as a certain taxon when using a key. ¹

28. Noun. One of a string of small islands. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Key

1. to provide with a key (a device used to turn the bolt in a lock) [v -ED, -ING, -S]

Medical Definition of Key

1. To fasten or secure firmly; to fasten or tighten with keys or wedges. To key up. To raise the pitch of. Hence, fig, to produce nervous tension in. Origin: Keved; Keying. 1. An instrument by means of which the bolt of a lock is shot or drawn; usually, a removable metal instrument fitted to the mechanism of a particular lock and operated by turning in its place. 2. An instrument which is turned like a key in fastening or adjusting any mechanism; as, a watch key; a bed key, etc. 3. That part of an instrument or machine which serves as the means of operating it; as, a telegraph key; the keys of a pianoforte, or of a typewriter. 4. A position or condition which affords entrance, control, pr possession, etc.; as, the key of a line of defense; the key of a country; the key of a political situation. Hence, that which serves to unlock, open, discover, or solve something unknown or difficult; as, the key to a riddle; the key to a problem. "Those who are accustomed to reason have got the true key of books." (Locke) "Who keeps the keys of all the creeds." (Tennyson) 5. That part of a mechanism which serves to lock up, make fast, or adjust to position. 6. A piece of wood used as a wedge. The last board of a floor when laid down. 7. A keystone. That part of the plastering which is forced through between the laths and holds the rest in place. 8. A wedge to unite two or more pieces, or adjust their relative position; a cotter; a forelock. A bar, pin or wedge, to secure a crank, pulley, coupling, etc, upon a shaft, and prevent relative turning; sometimes holding by friction alone, but more frequently by its resistance to shearing, being usually embedded partly in the shaft and partly in the crank, pulley, etc. 9. An indehiscent, one-seeded fruit furnished with a wing, as the fruit of the ash and maple; a samara. Synonym: key fruit. 10. A family of tones whose regular members are called diatonic tones, and named key tone (or tonic) or one (or eight), mediant or three, dominant or five, subdominant or four, submediant or six, supertonic or two, and subtonic or seven. Chromatic tones are temporary members of a key, under such names as " sharp four," "flat seven," etc. Scales and tunes of every variety are made from the tones of a key. The fundamental tone of a movement to which its modulations are referred, and with which it generally begins and ends; keynote. "Both warbling of one song, both in one key." (Shak) 11. Fig: The general pitch or tone of a sentence or utterance. "You fall at once into a lower key." (Cowper) Key bed. Same as Key seat. Key bolt, a bolt which has a mortise near the end, and is secured by a cotter or wedge instead of a nut. Key bugle. See Kent bugle. Key of a position or country. The authority claimed by the ministry in some Christian churches to administer the discipline of the church, and to grant or withhold its privileges; so called from the declaration of Christ, "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven." . Origin: OE. Keye, key, kay, AS. Cg. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Lexicographical Neighbors of Key

key (current term)
key-in-lock manoeuvre
key attachment
key binding
key bindings
key bit
key card
key cards
key chain
key chains
key exchange
key exchanges
key fob
key fobs

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