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Definitions and Synonyms of key | Another word for key | What is key?

Definition 1: metal device shaped in such a way that when it is inserted into the appropriate lock the lock's mechanism can be rotated - [noun denoting artifact]

(key is a kind of ...) an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose

"the device is small enough to wear on your wrist" "a device intended to conserve water"

(... is a kind of key ) a key that operates the ignition switch of an automotive engine

(... is a kind of key ) key for raising or drawing back a latch or opening an outside door

(... is a kind of key ) key that secures entrance everywhere

(key is a part of ...) the part of a key that enters a lock and lifts the tumblers

(key is a part of ...) cylinder forming a long narrow part of something

Definition 2: a lever (as in a keyboard) that actuates a mechanism when depressed - [noun denoting artifact]

(key is a kind of ...) a rigid bar pivoted about a fulcrum

(... is a kind of key ) key consisting of a lever that sends a telegraph signal when it is depressed and the circuit is closed

(... is a kind of key ) the key on a typewriter or a word processor that causes a tabulation

(... is a kind of key ) the bar-shaped typewriter key that introduces spaces when used

(... is a kind of key ) the key on the typewriter keyboard that shifts from lower-case letters to upper-case letters

(... is a kind of key ) the key on electric typewriters or computer keyboards that causes a carriage return and a line feed

(... is a kind of key ) (computer science) the key on a computer keyboard that is used (in combination with some other key) to type control characters

(... is a kind of key ) the typewriter key used for back spacing

(... is part of key) the operating part that transmits power to a mechanism

"the piano had a very stiff action"

(... is a member of key) device consisting of a set of keys on a piano or organ or typewriter or typesetting machine or computer or the like

Definition 3: mechanical device used to wind another device that is driven by a spring (as a clock) - [noun denoting artifact]

Synonyms for key in the sense of this definition

(key is a kind of ...) mechanism consisting of a device that works on mechanical principles

(... is a kind of key ) winder consisting of a key with a square hole; used for winding some watches

Definition 4: the central building block at the top of an arch or vault - [noun denoting artifact]

Synonyms for key in the sense of this definition

(key is a kind of ...) a block of material used in construction work

(... is a kind of key ) the keystone of an arch

(... is part of key) (architecture) a masonry construction (usually curved) for spanning an opening and supporting the weight above it

Definition 5: pitch of the voice - [noun denoting attribute]

Samples where key or its synonyms are used according to this definition

  • he spoke in a low key

(key is a kind of ...) the property of sound that varies with variation in the frequency of vibration

Definition 6: something crucial for explaining - [noun denoting cognition]

Samples where key or its synonyms are used according to this definition

  • the key to development is economic integration

(key is a kind of ...) thought that makes something comprehensible

Definition 7: any of 24 major or minor diatonic scales that provide the tonal framework for a piece of music - [noun denoting communication]

Synonyms for key in the sense of this definition

(key is a kind of ...) (music) notation used by musicians

(... is a kind of key ) a key whose harmony is based on the major scale

(... is a kind of key ) a key based on the minor scale

(... is a kind of key ) the basic key in which a piece of music is written

Definition 8: a generic term for any device whose possession entitles the holder to a means of access - [noun denoting communication]

Samples where key or its synonyms are used according to this definition

  • a safe-deposit box usually requires two keys to open it

(key is a kind of ...) 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; recognition by the system leads to acceptance

"a system for positive identification can prevent the use of a single identity by several people"

Definition 9: a list of words or phrases that explain symbols or abbreviations - [noun denoting communication]

(key is a kind of ...) a database containing an ordered array of items (names or topics)

(... is a kind of key ) a word that is used as a pattern to decode an encrypted message

Definition 10: a list of answers to a test - [noun denoting communication]

Samples where key or its synonyms are used according to this definition

  • some students had stolen the key to the final exam

(key is a kind of ...) a database containing an ordered array of items (names or topics)

Definition 11: (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 - [noun denoting location]

Samples where key or its synonyms are used according to this definition

  • he hit a jump shot from the top of the key
  • he dominates play in the paint

Synonyms for key in the sense of this definition

(key is a kind of ...) an area reserved for some particular purpose

"the laboratory's floor space"

(key is a part of ...) a line from which basketball players take penalty shots

(... is part of key) the court on which basketball is played

(key belongs to category ...) a game played on a court by two opposing teams of 5 players; points are scored by throwing the ball through an elevated horizontal hoop

Definition 12: a coral reef off the southern coast of Florida - [noun denoting object]

Synonyms for key in the sense of this definition

(key is a kind of ...) a reef consisting of coral consolidated into limestone

(... is part of key) a state in southeastern United States between the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico; one of the Confederate states during the American Civil War

Definition 13: 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) - [noun denoting person]

Synonyms for key in the sense of this definition

(key is an instance of ...) a professional person authorized to practice law; conducts lawsuits or gives legal advice

(key is an instance of ...) a writer of poems (the term is usually reserved for writers of good poetry)

Definition 14: a winged often one-seed indehiscent fruit as of the ash or elm or maple - [noun denoting plant]

Synonyms for key in the sense of this definition

(key is a kind of ...) small dry indehiscent fruit with the seed distinct from the fruit wall

Definition 15: a kilogram of a narcotic drug - [noun denoting quantity]

Samples where key or its synonyms are used according to this definition

  • they were carrying two keys of heroin

(key is a kind of ...) one thousand grams; the basic unit of mass adopted under the Systeme International d'Unites

"a kilogram is approximately 2.2 pounds"

(key is used in the usage domain ...) a characteristic language of a particular group (as among thieves)

"they don't speak our lingo"

Definition 16: harmonize with or adjust to - [verb of change]

Samples where key or its synonyms are used according to this definition

  • key one's actions to the voters' prevailing attitude

(key is a kind of ...) bring into consonance or accord

"harmonize one's goals with one's abilities"

Definition 17: regulate the musical pitch of - [verb of change]

(key is a kind of ...) bring into consonance, harmony, or accord while making music or singing

(key belongs to category ...) (music) the sounds produced by singers or musical instruments (or reproductions of such sounds)

Definition 18: identify as in botany or biology, for example - [verb of cognition]

Synonyms for key in the sense of this definition

(key implies ...) arrange or order by classes or categories

"How would you classify these pottery shards--are they prehistoric?"

Definition 19: vandalize a car by scratching the sides with a key - [verb of contact]

Samples where key or its synonyms are used according to this definition

  • His new Mercedes was keyed last night in the parking lot

(key is a kind of ...) destroy wantonly, as through acts of vandalism

"vandalize the park"

Definition 20: provide with a key - [verb of possession]

Samples where key or its synonyms are used according to this definition

  • We were keyed after the locks were changed in the building

(key is a kind of ...) give something useful or necessary to

"We provided the room with an electrical heater"

Definition 21: serving as an essential component - [adjective satellite denoting all]

Samples where key or its synonyms are used according to this definition

  • a cardinal rule
  • the central cause of the problem
  • an example that was fundamental to the argument
  • computers are fundamental to modern industrial structure

Synonyms for key in the sense of this definition

(key is similar to ...) of great significance or value

"important people" "the important questions of the day"

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