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Key

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun key:

headstonekeystonetonalitypaintkey

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb key:

keydistinguishnamediscoveridentifydescribe

Definition of Key

What does Key mean?

noun

Key is one of the top 1000 most common nouns in the English language.

  1. metal device shaped in such a way that when it is inserted into the appropriate lock the lock's mechanism can be rotated
    • more generic word: device = an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose
    • more specific terms:
    • parts:
      • bit = the part of a key that enters a lock and lifts the tumblers
      • shank / stem = cylinder forming a long narrow part of something
  2. something crucial for explaining
    • example: the key to development is economic integration
    • more generic word: explanation = thought that makes something comprehensible
  3. pitch of the voice
    • example: he spoke in a low key
    • more generic word: pitch = the property of sound that varies with variation in the frequency of vibration
  4. any of 24 major or minor diatonic scales that provide the tonal framework for a piece of music
  5. a kilogram of a narcotic drug
  6. a winged often one-seed indehiscent fruit as of the ash or elm or maple
    • synonyms of key: key fruit / samara
    • more generic word: achene = small dry indehiscent fruit with the seed distinct from the fruit wall
  7. 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)
  8. a coral reef off the southern coast of Florida
  9. (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
    • example: he hit a jump shot from the top of the key
    • domain: basketball / basketball game / hoops
    • synonym of key: paint
    • more generic word: space = an area reserved for some particular purpose
    • part of: basketball court = the court on which basketball is played
    • part: foul line = a line from which basketball players take penalty shots
  10. a list of answers to a test
    • example: some students had stolen the key to the final exam
    • more generic words: list / listing = a database containing an ordered array of items
  11. a list of words or phrases that explain symbols or abbreviations
    • more generic words: list / listing = a database containing an ordered array of items
    • more specific term: key word = a word that is used as a pattern to decode an encrypted message
  12. a generic term for any device whose possession entitles the holder to a means of access
    • example: a safe-deposit box usually requires two keys to open it
    • more generic term: positive identification = evidence proving that you are who you say you are; evidence establishing that you are among the group of people already known to the system
  13. mechanical device used to wind another device that is driven by a spring (as a clock)
    • synonym of key: winder
    • more generic term: mechanical device = mechanism consisting of a device that works on mechanical principles
    • more specific term: watch key = winder consisting of a key with a square hole
  14. the central building block at the top of an arch or vault
    • synonyms of key: headstone / keystone
    • more generic term: building block = a block of material used in construction work
    • more specific words: coigne / coign / quoin = the keystone of an arch
    • part of: arch = a masonry construction (usually curved) for spanning an opening and supporting the weight above it
  15. a lever (as in a keyboard) that actuates a mechanism when depressed
    • more generic word: lever = a rigid bar pivoted about a fulcrum
    • more specific terms:
      • backspace key / backspacer / backspace = the typewriter key used for back spacing
      • command key / control key = the key on a computer keyboard that is used (in combination with some other key) to type control characters
      • return key / return = the key on electric typewriters or computer keyboards that causes a carriage return and a line feed
      • shift key / shift = the key on the typewriter keyboard that shifts from lower-case letters to upper-case letters
      • space bar = the bar-shaped typewriter key that introduces spaces when used
      • tab key / tab = the key on a typewriter or a word processor that causes a tabulation
      • telegraph key = key consisting of a lever that sends a telegraph signal when it is depressed and the circuit is closed
    • part of: action / action mechanism = the operating part that transmits power to a mechanism
    • member of: keyboard = device consisting of a set of keys on a piano or organ or typewriter or typesetting machine or computer or the like

verb

  1. identify as in botany or biology, for example
  2. provide with a key
    • example: We were keyed after the locks were changed in the building
    • more generic words: furnish / provide / render / supply = give something useful or necessary to
  3. vandalize a car by scratching the sides with a key
    • example: His new Mercedes was keyed last night in the parking lot
    • more generic words: vandalise / vandalize = destroy wantonly, as through acts of vandalism
  4. regulate the musical pitch of
  5. harmonize with or adjust to
    • example: key one's actions to the voters' prevailing attitude
    • more generic words: harmonise / harmonize / reconcile = bring into consonance or accord

adjective satellite

  1. serving as an essential component

Alternative definition

adjective

  1. See Indispensable.
  2. Important, salient.

noun

  1. An object designed to open and close a lock.
  2. An object designed to fit between two other objects (such as a shaft and a wheel) in a mechanism and maintain their relative orientation.
  3. A crucial step or requirement.
  4. A guide explaining the symbols or terminology of a map or chart; a legend.
  5. A guide to the correct answers of a worksheet or test.
  6. [computing] One of several small, usually square buttons on a typewriter or computer keyboard, most of which generally correspond to a particular character.
  7. [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.
  8. [music] One of various levers on a musical instrument used to select notes, such as a lever opening a hole on a woodwind.
  9. [music] A hierarchical scale of musical notes on which a composition is based
  10. [historical] A manual electrical switching device primarily used for the transmission of Morse code.
  11. [cryptography] A piece of information (e.g. a passphrase) used to encode or decode a message or messages.
  12. [computing] In a relational database, a field used as an index into another table (not necessarily unique).
  13. [computing] A value that uniquely identifies an entry in an associative array.
  14. [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.
  15. [biology] A series of logically organized groups of discriminating information which aims to allow the user to correctly identify a taxon.
  16. [slang] kilogram
  17. One of a string of small islands.

verb

  1. To fit (a lock) with a key.
  2. To fit (pieces of a mechanical assembly) with a key to maintain the orientation between them.
  3. To mark or indicate with a symbol indicating membership in a class.
  4. [context: telegraphy and radio telegraphy] To depress (a telegraph key).
  5. [context: radio] To operate (the transmitter switch of a two-way radio).
  6. [computing] (more usually 'to key in') To enter (information) by typing on a keyboard or keypad.
  7. [colloquial] To vandalize (a car, etc.) by scratching with an implement such as a key.
  8. To link (as one might do with a key or legend).
  9. [intransitive] [biology, mostly, taxonomy] To be identified as a certain taxon when using a key.

Phrases with Key

Phrases starting with the word Key:

  1. Key in
  2. key bit
  3. Key Fob
  4. Key Log
  5. Key Off
  6. key out

Phrases ending with the word Key:

  1. Cd Key
  2. on-key
  3. Pf Key
  4. Alt Key
  5. ash-key
  6. Bis Key
  7. Esc Key
  8. Hex Key
  9. Hot Key
  10. Low Key
  11. low-key
  12. Map Key
  13. Map-Key
  14. off-key

View more phrases with the word Key in thesaurus!

Business

Key is a Japanese visual novel studio which formed on July 21, 1998 as a brand under the publisher Visual Art's and is located in Kita, Osaka, Japan. Key released their debut visual novel Kanon in June 1999, which combined an elaborate storyline, an up-to-date anime-style drawing style, and a musical score which helped to set the mood for the game. Key's second game Air released in September 2000 had a similar if not more complex storyline to Kanon and a more thorough gameplay. Both Kanon and Air were originally produced as adult games, but Key broke this trend with their third title Clannad which was released in April 2004 for all ages. Key has worked in the past with Interchannel and Prototype for the consumer port releases of the brand's games. Key collaborated with ASCII Media Works' Dengeki G's Magazine to produce the mixed media project Angel Beats!, which was produced into a TV anime in 2010. The brand's ninth and latest game Rewrite was released in June 2011, and a fan disc for the game titled Rewrite Harvest festa! will be released in July 2012.

People

  1. Key: Kim Ki Bum, better known by his stage name Key, is a South Korean idol singer, rapper, dancer, actor, and promotional model. He is a member of South Korean boy group Shinee under the label of SM Entertainment, as a vocalist, lead dancer, and lead rapper.
    • also known as Ki-bum Kim, Kim Kibum, Kibummie, Bummie, Almighty Key, Diva Key, Kimbap, Gwiboon, 김기범, Kim Ki-bum, 키
    • born on (22 years ago) in Daegu
    • nationality: South Korea
    • profession: Singer, rapper, dancer, actor, model, master of ceremonies, radio personality
    • member of musical groups:
    • genres: K-pop, Dance-pop, Pop music, Contemporary R&B, Hip hop music
    • album: "One Dream"
  2. Key a.k.a. Keyon Smith is an actor.
  3. Key a.k.a. Kyle Stafford is a TV and film editor.
    • also known as Kyle Patrick Stafford
    • profession: Film editor
    • Marriage with Shaw Stafford since

There are other people with Key in their name, like Low Key, low-key, Max Key, Sam Key, Ted Key, Tim Key, Anna Key, Jeff Key, John Key, Josh Key and many others.

Group

KEY is a musical artist, musician, musical group.

There are other groups with Key in their name, like Ad:key, Esc key, Key Lia, Off Key, off-key, Key West, Key System, Key Witness, Seventh Key, Key To Arson, skElEtOn kEy, Degarmo & Key, Key West Club and Cevin Key & Ken Marshall.

Character

The Key is the name of two fictional supervillains in the DC Comics universe.

There are other characters with Key in their name, like John Key, Key Grip and Key Worker.

Music

"Key" is the second full-length from Omaha, NE's Son, Ambulance.

Miscellanea

  1. Key: In music theory, the key of a piece usually refers to the tonic note and chord, which gives a subjective sense of arrival and rest. Other notes and chords in the piece create varying degrees of tension, resolved when the tonic note and/or chord returns. The key may be major or minor, although major is assumed in a phrase like "this piece is in C." Popular songs are usually in a key, and so is classical music during the common practice period, about 1650–1900. Longer pieces in the classical repertoire may have sections in contrasting keys.
  2. Key a.k.a. Cay: A cay, also spelled caye or key, is a small, low-elevation, sandy island formed on the surface of a coral reef. Cays occur in tropical environments throughout the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans, where they provide habitable and agricultural land for hundreds of thousands of people. Their surrounding reef ecosystems also provide food and building materials for island inhabitants.
    • also known as Caye
  3. Key: In cryptography, a key is a piece of information that determines the functional output of a cryptographic algorithm or cipher. Without a key, the algorithm would produce no useful result. In encryption, a key specifies the particular transformation of plaintext into ciphertext, or vice versa during decryption. Keys are also used in other cryptographic algorithms, such as digital signature schemes and message authentication codes.
    • also known as HappyMan, Key generator 2
  4. Key: In mechanical engineering, a key is a machine element used to connect a rotating machine element to a shaft. Through this connection the key prevents relative rotation between the two parts and allows torque to be transmitted through. For a key to function the shaft and rotating machine element must have a keyway, also known as a keyseat, which is a slot or pocket for the key to fit in. The whole system is called a keyed joint. A keyed joint still allows relative axial movement between the parts.
    • also known as Keyway
  5. The key, officially referred to as the free throw lane by the National Basketball Association and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the restricted area by the international governing body FIBA, and colloquially as the shaded lane and the paint, is an area in a basketball court underneath the basket bounded by the endlines, the foul lanes and the free throw line. Usually painted, it is a critical area on the court, where much of the action takes place in a game.
  6. Key: A key is a specific part of a musical instrument. The purpose and function of the part in question depends on the instrument.
  7. The KeY tool is used in formal verification of Java programs.It accepts both specifications written in JML or OCL to Java source files. These are transformed into theorems of dynamic logic and then compared against program semantics which are likewise defined in terms of dynamic logic. KeY is significantly powerful in that it supports both interactive and fully automated correctness proofs. Failed proof attempts can be used for a more efficient debugging or verification-based testing. It can be integrated into CASE tools to extract specifications. There have been several extensions to KeY in order to apply it to the verification of C programs or hybrid systems. KeY is jointly developed by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany; Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany; and Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden and is licensed under the GPL.
  8. Key: A Key is an entry in a namespace.
  9. Key a.k.a. Kupia Language: Kupia, or Valmiki, is a language of eastern India closely related to Oriya.
    • also known as Valmiki

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Key

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewEncyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Second Edition - (2003)

by Miriam Drake

INTRODUCTION Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is an important framework for Internet security services with public key cryptography. It is important for everyone who serves security services to understand the concept of PKI and related ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Multimedia (2008)

by Borko Furht

Definition Key management refers to an encryption algorithm and deals with the secure generation, distribution, storage, and disposal of keys. The security of an encryption algorithm often depends on the strength of the encryption algorithm ...

Google previewEncyclopaedia Americana (1832)

A Popular Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature, History, Politics and Biography, Brought Down to the Present Time; Including a Copious Collection of Original Articles in American Biography by Francis Lieber, Edward Wigglesworth, Thomas Gamaliel Bradford

Key, Scale, System of Tones (m music) " Thrush " Gross " Thuanus (see Thou. De )... " Timour " Tin 268 Tongue " Tomc " Thuilleries (see Tuileries).. 246 Thuiscoo ( see Tuiscou) .... " Ores 270 Tincal (sec Boracic Acid). . " Tonics " ThQmmel ...

Google previewMusic Lovers' Encyclopedia (1919)

Containing a Pronouncing and Defining Dictionary of Terms, Instruments, &c., Including a Key to the Pronunciation of Sixteen Languages, Many Charts; an Explanation of the Construction of Music for the Uninitiated; a Pronouncing Biographical Dictionary; the Stories of the Operas; and Numerous Biographical and Critical Essays by Distinguished Authorities by Rupert Hughes

Including a Key to the Pronunciation of Sixteen Languages, Many Charts; an Explanation of the Construction of Music for the Uninitiated; a Pronouncing ...

Google previewLondon encyclopaedia; or, Universal dictionary of science, art, literature and practical mechanics (1829)

comprising a popular view of the present state of knowledge by Thomas Tegg

Key in music, is the fundamental note or tone, to which the whole piece in cantata , sonata, concerto, &,c, is accommodated, and with which it usually begins, but always ends. Key, or Quay. See Quay. Keys' Islands, three islands in the Eastern  ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Key

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Photo about Key

key

View more pictures about Key Man, Off Key, Key West, Key Largo, and master key.

Video language resources about Key

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View more videos about Key Fob, The Key, Key Words, Foreign Key, and skElEtOn kEy.

See also the pronunciation examples of Key!

Sign language

Baby Sign Language Key Phrases

Duration 00:57

Quotes about Key

When you have read the Bible, you will know it is the word of God, because you will have found it the key to your own heart, your own happiness, and your own duty. (Woodrow Wilson)
more quotes about key...

Scrabble value of K5E1Y4

The value of this 3-letter word is 10 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of KEY

What do you get if you rearrange the letters?

Semordnilap

What do you get if you reverse the order of the letters?

See also the index of semordnilaps!

Other anagrams

What do you get if you rearrange the letters in other ways?

See also the blanagrams of Key!

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