What does key mean?

Definitions for keyki

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word key.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. key(noun)

    metal device shaped in such a way that when it is inserted into the appropriate lock the lock's mechanism can be rotated

  2. key(noun)

    something crucial for explaining

    "the key to development is economic integration"

  3. key(noun)

    pitch of the voice

    "he spoke in a low key"

  4. key, tonality(noun)

    any of 24 major or minor diatonic scales that provide the tonal framework for a piece of music

  5. key(noun)

    a kilogram of a narcotic drug

    "they were carrying two keys of heroin"

  6. samara, key fruit, key(noun)

    a winged often one-seed indehiscent fruit as of the ash or elm or maple

  7. Key, Francis Scott Key(noun)

    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. key, cay, Florida key(noun)

    a coral reef off the southern coast of Florida

  9. key, paint(noun)

    (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"

  10. key(noun)

    a list of answers to a test

    "some students had stolen the key to the final exam"

  11. key(noun)

    a list of words or phrases that explain symbols or abbreviations

  12. key(noun)

    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"

  13. winder, key(noun)

    mechanical device used to wind another device that is driven by a spring (as a clock)

  14. keystone, key, headstone(noun)

    the central building block at the top of an arch or vault

  15. key(adj)

    a lever (as in a keyboard) that actuates a mechanism when depressed

  16. cardinal, central, fundamental, key, primal(verb)

    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"

  17. identify, discover, key, key out, distinguish, describe, name(verb)

    identify as in botany or biology, for example

  18. key(verb)

    provide with a key

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

  19. key(verb)

    vandalize a car by scratching the sides with a key

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

  20. key(verb)

    regulate the musical pitch of

  21. key(verb)

    harmonize with or adjust to

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


  1. Key(n.)

    any device for closing or opening an electric circuit, especially as part of a keyboard, as that used at a computer terminal or teletype terminal.

  2. Key(n.)

    (Computers) A word or other combination of symbols which serves as an index identifying and pointing to a particular record, file, or location which can be retrieved and displayed by a computer program; as, a database using multi-word keys. When the key is a word, it is also called a keyword.

  3. Key(n.)

    One of a set of small movable parts on an instrument or machine which, by being depressed, serves as the means of operating it; the complete set of keys is usually called the keyboard; as, the keys of a piano, an organ, an accordion, a computer keyboard, or of a typewriter. The keys may operate parts of the instrument by a mechanical action, as on a piano, or by closing an electrical circuit, as on a computer keyboard. See also senses 12 and 13.

  4. Key(v. t.)

    (Computers) To enter (text, data) using keys, especially those on a keyboard; to keyboard; as, to key the data in by hand.

  5. Key(v. t.)

    To adjust so as to be maximally effective in a particular situation; -- of actions, plans, or speech; as, to key one's campaign speech to each local audience.

  6. Key(v. t.)

    To furnish with a key or keys.

  7. key(a.)

    Essential; most important; as, the key fact in the inquiry; the president was the key player inthe negotiations.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Key(noun)

    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

  2. Key(noun)

    an instrument which is turned like a key in fastening or adjusting any mechanism; as, a watch key; a bed key, etc

  3. Key(noun)

    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

  4. Key(noun)

    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

  5. Key(noun)

    that part of a mechanism which serves to lock up, make fast, or adjust to position

  6. Key(noun)

    a piece of wood used as a wedge

  7. Key(noun)

    the last board of a floor when laid down

  8. Key(noun)

    a keystone

  9. Key(noun)

    that part of the plastering which is forced through between the laths and holds the rest in place

  10. Key(noun)

    a wedge to unite two or more pieces, or adjust their relative position; a cotter; a forelock

  11. Key(noun)

    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

  12. Key(noun)

    an indehiscent, one-seeded fruit furnished with a wing, as the fruit of the ash and maple; a samara; -- called also key fruit

  13. Key(noun)

    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

  14. Key(noun)

    the fundamental tone of a movement to which its modulations are referred, and with which it generally begins and ends; keynote

  15. Key(noun)

    fig: The general pitch or tone of a sentence or utterance

  16. Key(verb)

    to fasten or secure firmly; to fasten or tighten with keys or wedges

  17. Origin: [OE. keye, key, kay, AS. cg.]


  1. Key

    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 an anime TV series in 2010. The brand's ninth game Rewrite was released in June 2011, and a fan disc for the game titled Rewrite Harvest festa! was released in July 2012. Co-founder Jun Maeda is a prominent figure in the brand, he having contributed on the planning, scenario, and music composition in the majority of Key's visual novels. Itaru Hinoue, also a co-founder, is Key's main artist and was the art director for Key's first three games. Na-Ga, another prominent artist in the brand, mainly worked with background art in earlier games, but with Key's sixth game Little Busters! was given the position of co-art director with Hinoue. Shinji Orito, Key's main composer and another co-founder, has composed music for the majority of Key's titles. Yūto Tonokawa, a scenario writer, first worked on the scenario in Little Busters!.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Key

    kē, 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′-bū′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.]

  2. Key

    kē, n. (Dryden). Same as Quay.

  3. Key

    kē, n. a low island near the coast.—Also Cay.

The Standard Electrical Dictionary

  1. Key

    A switch adapted for making and breaking contact easily when worked by hand, as a Morse telegraph key.

Suggested Resources

  1. KEY

    What does KEY stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the KEY acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'key' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1372

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'key' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1642

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'key' in Nouns Frequency: #658

  4. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'key' in Adjectives Frequency: #162


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of key in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of key in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Bindi Irwin:

    The key is to trust.

  2. Christian Joyal:

    The key is communication.

  3. Andreas Andreadis:

    The key word is stability.

  4. Bubba Watson:

    Seems like Doral is my key.

  5. John Pistole:

    The key is to be unpredictable.

Images & Illustrations of key

  1. keykeykey

Translations for key

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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