n. pl. keys, adj. v.
1) bui a small metal instrument specially cut to fit into a lock and move its bolt
2) any of various devices functioning as a key:
the key of a clock[/ex]
3) something that affords a means to achive, master, or understand something else:
the key to happiness; the key to training a dog[/ex]
4) something that controls entrance to a place:
Gibraltar is the key to the Mediterranean[/ex]
5) a book or other text containing the solutions or translations of material given elsewhere, as testing exercises
6) a systematic explanation of abbreviations, symbols, and the like used in a dictionary, map, etc.: pronunciation key
Compare legend 4)
7) crp the system, method, pattern, etc., used to decode or decipher a cryptogram
8) cmp one of the buttons on the keyboard of a typewriter, computer, or the like that are pressed to operate the device
9) mad
a) (in a keyboard instrument) one of the levers that when depressed by the performer sets in motion the playing mechanism
b) (on a woodwind instrument) a metal lever that opens and closes a vent
c) the relationship perceived between all tones in a given unit of music and a single tone or a keynote; tonality
d) the principal tonality of a composition
10) tone or pitch, as of voice:
to speak in a high key[/ex]
11) mood or characteristic style
12) degree of intensity, as of feeling or action
13) mac a pin, bolt, wedge, or other piece inserted in a space to lock or hold parts of a mechanism or structure together
14) mac a contrivance for grasping and turning a bolt, nut, etc
15) cmp a group of characters that identifies a record in a database or other computer file
16) elm
a) a device for opening and closing electrical contacts, as a lever used to produce signals in telegraphy
b) a hand-operated switching device capable of switching one or more parts of a circuit
17) bio Biol. a systematic tabular classification of the significant characteristics of the members of a group of organisms to facilitate identification and comparison
18) archit. bui a keystone or boss
19) bui a wedge, as for tightening a joint or splitting a stone or timber
20) spo
keyhole 2)
21) pht the dominant tonal value of a photograph, high key being light tonal value with minimal contrast and low key being generally dark with minimal contrast
22) bot Bot. a samara
23) chief; major:
a key industry; The decision will be key[/ex]
24) to regulate or adjust (actions, thoughts, speech, etc.) to a particular state or activity; bring into conformity
25) to provide with a key
26) cvb jou to mark or set (a text, layout, diagram, etc.) with symbols, letters, etc., as to show where certain matter should be inserted or to indicate where more detailed information can be found
27) to lock with a key
28) bui to provide (an arch or vault) with a keystone
29) cvb cmp to keyboard (data) into a computer (sometimes fol. by in)
30) cvb to use a key
31) cmp to keyboard
32) phv spo key (in) on
phv to single out as important
33) phv key up
phv to increase tension in; stimulate
Etymology: bef. 900; ME key(e), kay(e), OE cǣg, cǣge; c. OFris kei, kai key′less, adj. II
[[t]ki[/t]] n. pl. keys
geo a reef or low island; cay
Etymology: 1690–1700; < Sp cayo, prob. < Arawak III
[[t]ki[/t]] n. pl. keys. Slang.
cvb sts a kilogram of marijuana or a narcotic drug
Etymology: 1965–70, amer.; shortening and resp. of kilogram

From formal English to slang. 2014.

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  • Key — (k[=e]), n. [OE. keye, key, kay, AS. c[ae]g.] 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. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • KEY — ist das englische Wort für Schlüssel, und damit Bestandteil von Anglizismen: Key Account Key Account Manager etc. Key steht im Sinne von Cay für eine kleine flache Insel: insbesondere die Florida Keys, Inselkette im US Bundesstaat Florida, USA:… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Key — may refer to: Building* Key, Carpentry: timber or metal wedges used across or between two or more members to act as a tightening agent. * Key, Painting: to rough the surface of previous coats of paint to allow a secure bond for the next or top… …   Wikipedia

  • Key — ist das englische Wort für Schlüssel, und damit Bestandteil von Anglizismen: Key Account Key Account Manager etc. Key steht im Sinne von Cay für eine kleine flache Insel: insbesondere die Florida Keys, Inselkette im US Bundesstaat Florida, USA:… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • KeY — is a formal software development tool that aims to integrate design, implementation, formal specification, and formal verification of object oriented software. It supports programs written in Java (more precisely: in a superset of Java Card) and… …   Wikipedia

  • key — key1 [kē] n. pl. keys [ME keye < OE cæge, akin to OFris kei, kēia, to secure, guard] 1. an instrument, usually of metal, for moving the bolt of a lock and thus locking or unlocking something 2. any of several instruments or mechanical devices… …   English World dictionary

  • key to — ˈkey to [transitive] usually passive [present tense I/you/we/they key to he/she/it keys to present participle keying to past tense keyed to …   Useful english dictionary

  • Key — Key, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Keved}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Keying}.] 1. To fasten or secure firmly; to fasten or tighten with keys or wedges. Francis. [1913 Webster] 2. (Computers) To enter (text, data) using keys, especially those on a keyboard; to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • key — adj: of vital importance (as in a business organization) esp. so as to be specially insured to the benefit of an employer key man key employee insurance Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • key — Ⅰ. key [1] ► NOUN (pl. keys) 1) a small piece of shaped metal which is inserted into a lock and rotated to open or close it. 2) an instrument for grasping and turning a screw, peg, or nut. 3) a lever depressed by the finger in playing an… …   English terms dictionary

  • key — key, a. Essential; most important; as, the key fact in the inquiry; the president was the key player inthe negotiations. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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