Definition of key

  1. key Noun An object designed to open and close a lock.
  2. key Noun An object designed to fit between two other objects (such as a shaft and a wheel) in a mechanism and maintain the orientation between them.
  3. key Noun A crucial step or requirement.
  4. key Noun A guide explaining the symbols or terminology of a map or chart; a legend.
  5. key Noun A guide to the correct answers of a worksheet or test.
  6. key Noun One of several small, usually square buttons on a typewriter or computer keyboard, most of which generally correspond to a particular character.
  7. key Noun 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. key Noun One of various levers on a musical instrument used to select notes, such as a lever opening a hole on a woodwind.
  9. key Noun A hierarchical scale of musical notes on which a composition is based
  10. key Noun A device used to transmit Morse code.
  11. key Noun A piece of information (e.g. a passphrase) used to encode or decode a message or messages.
  12. key Noun In a relational database, a field used as an index into another table (not necessarily unique).
  13. key Noun A value that uniquely identifies an entry in an associative array.
  14. key Noun 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. key Noun kilogram
  16. key Adjective Indispensable.
  17. key Adjective Important, salient.
  18. key Verb To fit (a lock) with a key.
  19. key Verb To fit (pieces of a mechanical assembly) with a key to maintain the orientation between them.
  20. key Verb ("telegraphy and radio telegraphy") To depress (a telegraph key).
  21. key Verb ("radio") To operate (the transmitter switch of a two-way radio).
  22. key Verb ("more usually" "to key in") To enter (information) by typing on a keyboard or keypad.
  23. key Verb To vandalize (a car, etc.) by scratching with an implement such as a key.
  24. key Verb To link (as one might do with a key or legend).
  25. key Verb To mark or indicate with a symbol indicating membership in a class.
  26. key Noun One of a string of small islands.
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