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Definitions of key

  1. serving as an essential component; "a cardinal rule"; "the central cause of the problem"; "an example that was fundamental to the argument"; "computers are fundamental to modern industrial structure" Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  2. a coral reef off the southern coast of Florida Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  3. identify as in botany or biology, for example Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  4. 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) Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  5. the central building block at the top of an arch or vault Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  6. provide with a key; "We were keyed after the locks were changed in the building" Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  7. metal device shaped in such a way that when it is inserted into the appropriate lock the lock's mechanism can be rotated Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  8. a lever that actuates a mechanism when depressed Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  9. mechanical device used to wind another device that is driven by a spring (as a clock) Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  10. pitch of the voice; "he spoke in a low key" Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  11. something crucial for explaining; "the key to development is economic integration" Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  12. a list of words or phrases that explain symbols or abbreviations Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  13. any of 24 major or minor diatonic scales that provide the tonal framework for a piece of music Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  14. harmonize with or adjust to; "key one's actions to the voters' prevailing attitude" Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  15. a winged often one-seed indehiscent fruit as of the ash or elm or maple Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  16. effective; producing a desired effect; "the operative word" Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  17. 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" Wordnet Dictionary DB
  18. a list of answers to a test; "some students had stolen the key to the final exam" Wordnet Dictionary DB
  19. (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 hit a jump shot from the top of the key"; "he dominates play in the paint" Wordnet Dictionary DB
  20. a kilogram of a narcotic drug; "they were carrying two keys of heroin" Wordnet Dictionary DB
  21. regulate the musical pitch of Wordnet Dictionary DB
  22. vandalize a car by scratching the sides with a key; "His new Mercedes was keyed last night in the parking lot" Wordnet Dictionary DB
  23. 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. Webster Dictionary DB
  24. An instrument which is turned like a key in fastening or adjusting any mechanism; as, a watch key; a bed key, etc. Webster Dictionary DB
  25. 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. Webster Dictionary DB
  26. That part of a mechanism which serves to lock up, make fast, or adjust to position. Webster Dictionary DB
  27. A piece of wood used as a wedge. Webster Dictionary DB
  28. The last board of a floor when laid down. Webster Dictionary DB
  29. A keystone. Webster Dictionary DB
  30. That part of the plastering which is forced through between the laths and holds the rest in place. Webster Dictionary DB
  31. A wedge to unite two or more pieces, or adjust their relative position; a cotter; a forelock. Webster Dictionary DB
  32. 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. Webster Dictionary DB
  33. 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. Webster Dictionary DB
  34. The fundamental tone of a movement to which its modulations are referred, and with which it generally begins and ends; keynote. Webster Dictionary DB
  35. Fig: The general pitch or tone of a sentence or utterance. Webster Dictionary DB
  36. To fasten or secure firmly; to fasten or tighten with keys or wedges. Webster Dictionary DB
  37. 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. Webster Dictionary DB
  38. 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. Webster Dictionary DB
  39. A bar or key, in a typewriter or typesetting machine, used for spacing between letters. Webster Dictionary DB
  40. An indehiscent, one-seeded fruit furnished with a wing, as the fruit of the ash and maple; a samara; - called also key fruit. Webster Dictionary DB
  41. A metal instrument for turning a lock; an instrument by which something is turned, secured, or operated upon; that which allows or hinders entrance; as Liege was the key to Belgium; solution; as, the key to a riddle; an exact translation; a low small island; as, the Florida keys; a system of musical tones based on their relation to a note, called a keynote, from which the system is named; as, the key of G major; general pitch or tone of voice; as, men naturally speack in a lower key than women; a small lever, as an a piano, typewriter, etc., by which the instrument is made to act. The Winston Simplified Dictionary. By William Dodge Lewis, Edgar Arthur Singer. Published 1919.
  42. Go regulate the gone of. The Winston Simplified Dictionary. By William Dodge Lewis, Edgar Arthur Singer. Published 1919.
  43. An instrument for shutting or opening a lock: that by which something is screwed or turned: (arch.) the middle stone of an arch: a piece of wood let into another piece crosswise to prevent warping: (mus.) one of the small levers in musical instruments for producing notes: the fundamental note of a piece of music: that which explains a mystery: a book containing answers to exercises, etc. The american dictionary of the english language. By Daniel Lyons. Published 1899.
  44. Instrument to fasten and open a lock; clew to any mystery; small lever of a musical instrument; proper scale of a piece of music; reef of rocks. The Clarendon dictionary. By William Hand Browne, Samuel Stehman Haldeman. Published 1894.
  45. An instrument for moving the bolt in a lock. The Concise Standard Dictionary of the English Language. By James Champlin Fernald. Published 1919.
  46. Anything that discloses or opens something; a lever to be pressed by the finger in a musical instrument or a typewriter. The Concise Standard Dictionary of the English Language. By James Champlin Fernald. Published 1919.
  47. A key note; quality, intensity, or pitch of tone in speaking. The Concise Standard Dictionary of the English Language. By James Champlin Fernald. Published 1919.
  48. A low island, as of coral. The Concise Standard Dictionary of the English Language. By James Champlin Fernald. Published 1919.
  49. A quay; wharf. The Concise Standard Dictionary of the English Language. By James Champlin Fernald. Published 1919.
  50. A wharf; pier; artificial landing-place. The Concise Standard Dictionary of the English Language. By James Champlin Fernald. Published 1919.
  51. Instrument for shutting or opening a lock; that or by which something is screwed or turned; the central stone of an arch which binds it; a little lever or piece in the fore part, by which the fingers play on an instrument; the fundamental note or tone, to which a piece of music is accommodated; that which serves to explain anything difficult to be understood; a solution; a translation; a ledge of wood let into the back of another across the grain, to prevent warping. Nuttall's Standard dictionary of the English language. By Nuttall, P.Austin. Published 1914.
  52. A ledge of rocks near the surface of the water. See Quay. Nuttall's Standard dictionary of the English language. By Nuttall, P.Austin. Published 1914.
  53. To fasten with a key. The power of the keys, the authority, assumed exclusively by the Pope, but exercised by the clergy of all churches, to grant or withhold church privilege and fellowship. The key of a position, a position the occupancy of which secures the possession of a district of country. Nuttall's Standard dictionary of the English language. By Nuttall, P.Austin. Published 1914.
  54. A well-known instr. for shutting and opening locks; that which explains or solves a difficulty; the small lever in a musical instr.-as in a pianoforte; the fundamental note in a piece of music. Etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language. By Stormonth, James, Phelp, P. H. Published 1874.
  55. A wharf, rather spelt quay-which see. Etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language. By Stormonth, James, Phelp, P. H. Published 1874.
  56. The key of a native Oriental lock is a piece of wood, from seven inches to two feet in length, fitted with the wires or short nails, which, being inserted laterally into the hollow bolt which serves as a lock, raises other pins within the staple so as to allow the bolt to be drawn back. (Keys were sometimes of bronze or iron, and so large that one was as much as a man could carry. They are used in Scripture as a symbol of authority and power. Giving keys to a person signifies the intrusting of him with an important charge. ( Matthew 16:19 ) In England in modern times certain officers of the government receive, at their induction into office, a golden key. --ED.) biblestudytools.com
  57. 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. mso.anu.edu.au
  58. An indehiscent, one-seeded fruit furnished with a wing, as the fruit of the ash and maple; a samara; -- called also key fruit. mso.anu.edu.au
  59. frequently mentioned in Scripture. It is called in Hebrew maphteah , i.e., the opener ( Judges 3:25 ); and in the Greek New Testament kleis , from its use in shutting ( Matthew 16:19 ; Luke 11:52 ; Revelation 1:18 , etc.). Figures of ancient Egyptian keys are frequently found on the monuments, also of Assyrian locks and keys of wood, and of a large size (Compare Isaiah 22:22 ). The word is used figuratively of power or authority or office ( Isaiah 22:22 ; Revelation 3:7 ; Revelation 1:8 ; comp 9:1 ; 20:1 ; Compare also Matthew 16:19 ; 18:18 ). The "key of knowledge" ( Luke 11:52 ; Compare Matthew 23:13 ) is the means of attaining the knowledge regarding the kingdom of God. The "power of the keys" is a phrase in general use to denote the extent of ecclesiastical authority. biblestudytools.com
  60. k[=e], n. an instrument for shutting or opening a lock: that by which something is screwed or turned: the middle stone of an arch: a piece of wood let into another piece crosswise to prevent warping: (mus.) one of the small levers in musical instruments for producing notes: the fundamental note of a piece of music: that which explains a mystery: a book containing answers to exercises, &c.--ns. KEY'BOARD, the keys or levers in a piano or organ arranged along a flat board; KEY'-B[=U]'GLE, a bugle with keys, having a compass of two octaves including semitones.--adjs. KEY'-COLD (Shak.), cold as a key, lifeless; KEYED, furnished with keys, as a musical instrument: set to a particular key, as a tune.--ns. KEY'HOLE, the hole in which a key of a door, &c., is inserted; KEY'NOTE, the key or fundamental note of a piece of music; any central principle or controlling thought; KEY'-PIN, the pivot on which a pipe-key turns: a pin serving as fulcrum for a key of an organ, &c.; KEY'-PLATE, the escutcheon around a keyhole; KEY'RING, a ring for holding a bunch of keys; KEY'-SEAT, a groove for receiving a key, to prevent one piece of machinery from turning on another; KEY'STONE, the stone at the apex of an arch: the chief element in any system.--HAVE THE KEY OF THE STREET (coll.), to be locked out: to be homeless; POWER OF THE KEYS, the power to loose and bind, to administer ecclesiastical discipline--a special authority conferred by Christ on Peter (Matt. xvi. 19), or Peter in conjunction with the other apostles, and claimed by the popes as the alleged successors to St Peter. Others explain it as belonging only to the apostles themselves, as descending to the bishops and clergy of the Christian Church, or as belonging to all Christ's disciples alike. [A.S. cæg, a key.] gutenberg.org/ebooks/37683
  61. k[=e], n. (Dryden). Same as QUAY. gutenberg.org/ebooks/37683
  62. k[=e], n. a low island near the coast.--Also CAY. gutenberg.org/ebooks/37683
  63. An instrument, used for extracting teeth. It consists of a firm handle, with a claw at right angles to it, and moving upon a pivot. This claw embraces the tooth. It has undergone several modifications, and hence various instruments are used under this denomination. The French have the Clef a pompe, Clef a pivot, and Clef a noix. Medical Lexicon. A Dictionary of Medical Science
  64. Instrument, usu. of iron, for moving bolt of lock forwards or backwards; get, have, the k. of the street, be shut out for the night, homeless; MASTER k.; House of Kk., elective branch of legislature of I. of Man; St Peter\'s kk., cross kk. borne in Papal arms; what gives or precludes opportunity for or access to something; golden, silver, k., money used as bribe; (pl.) ecclesiastical authority as transmitted to the Pope, esp. power of the kk.; place that from its position gives control of sea, territory, &c.; solution, explanation; translation of foreign book; book of solutions of mathematical problems &c.; (Mus.) system of notes definitely related to each other& based on particular note, (fig.) tone, style, of thought or expression; k.-note, note on which a k. is based, (fig.) prevailing tone or idea; piece of wood or metal inserted between others to secure them; part of first coat of wall plaster passing between laths& so securing the rest; levers pressed by fingers in playing organ, piano, &c.; similar levers in typewriter &c.; instrument for grasping screws, pegs, nuts, &c.; esp. one for winding clock or watch; keyboard, set of kk. on piano &c.; k.-bugle (fitted with kk. to increase number of sounds); keyhole (by which k. is put into lock); k.-ring (for keeping kk. on); keystone, stone at summit of arch locking the whole together, (fig.) central principle &c. on which all depends. Hence keyless a. [old English] Concise Oxford Dictionary
  65. Fasten (often in, on, &c.) with pin, wedge, bolt, &c.; regulate pitch of strings of (piano &c.); (fig.) k. up, stimulate (person to do, to condition &c.). Concise Oxford Dictionary
  66. Low island or reef. Concise Oxford Dictionary
  67. k. up, raise the tone or standard of, brace up, stimulate. Concise Oxford Dictionary
  68. An appliance for locking or unlocking an apparatus (e. g., an extension splint). Appleton's medical dictionary.
  69. An apparatus for making and breaking an electrical circuit. Appleton's medical dictionary.
  70. A methodical and precise table of the principal divisions comprising a system of classification. Appleton's medical dictionary.
  71. n. [Anglo-Saxon] An instrument which serves to shut or open a lock, by turning its bolt one way or the other ;- an instrument by which any thing is crewed and turned, as a watch-key, bed-key ; - a piece of wood let into another across the grain to prevent warping ; - the highest central stone of an arch ; the key-stone ; - a piece of wood or metal placed on coincident slots or mortises, to hold parts together ; a cotter ; - a lover of wood, or ivory, or metal, in an organ, pianoforte, &c., struck or presses by the fingers in playing the instrument ; - the fundamental tone of a movement ; key-note ; - the index or letters interpreting a cypher ; - hence, that which serves to explain any thing difficult or obscure ; solution ; - a book of answers to questions in arithmetical or other school books ; - a translation. Cabinet Dictionary

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