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Meaning of KEY

Pronunciation:  kee, kee

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  metal device shaped in such a way that when it is inserted into the appropriate lock the lock's mechanism can be rotated
  2. [n]  a lever that actuates a mechanism when depressed
  3. [n]  mechanical device used to wind another device that is driven by a spring (as a clock)
  4. [n]  pitch of the voice; "he spoke in a low key"
  5. [n]  something crucial for explaining; "the key to development is economic integration"
  6. [n]  a list of words or phrases that explain symbols or abbreviations
  7. [n]  any of 24 major or minor diatonic scales that provide the tonal framework for a piece of music
  8. [n]  a coral reef off the southern coast of Florida
  9. [n]  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)
  10. [n]  one thousand grams; the basic unit of mass adopted under the System International d'Unites; "a kilogram is approximately 2.2 pounds"; "they were carrying two keys of heroin"
  11. [adj]  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"
  12. [adj]  effective; producing a desired effect; "the operative word"
  13. [v]  harmonize with or adjust to; "key one's actions to the voters' prevailing attitude"
  14. [v]  regulate the musical pitch of
  15. [v]  identify as in botany or biology, for example
  16. [v]  vandalize a car by scratching the sides with a key"; "His new Mercedes was keyed last night in the parking lot"
  17. [v]  provide with a key; "We were keyed after the locks were changed in the building"

KEY is a 3 letter word that starts with K.


 Synonyms: cardinal, cay, central, describe, discover, distinguish, Florida keys, Francis Scott Key, fundamental, identify, important, key out, kg, kilo, kilogram, name, of import, operative, primal, significant, tonality, winder
 Antonyms: atonalism, atonality
 See Also: action, action mechanism, assort, attorney, backspace key, backspacer, chord, class, classify, command key, control key, coral reef, device, Everglade State, explanation, FL, Florida, furnish, harmonise, harmonize, hectogram, hg, ignition key, key word, keyboard, lawyer, lever, list, listing, master, master key, mechanical device, metric weight unit, musical notation, myg, myriagram, passe-partout, passkey, pitch, poet, provide, reconcile, render, return, return key, separate, shank, sort, sort out, space bar, stem, Sunshine State, supply, tab key, telegraph key, vandalise, vandalize, watch key, weight unit



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \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.
    2. An instrument which is turned like a key in fastening or
       adjusting any mechanism; as, a watch key; a bed key, etc.
    3. 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. 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.
             Those who are accustomed to reason have got the true
             key of books.                         --Locke.
             Who keeps the keys of all the creeds. --Tennyson.
    5. That part of a mechanism which serves to lock up, make
       fast, or adjust to position.
    6. (Arch.)
       (a) A piece of wood used as a wedge.
       (b) The last board of a floor when laid down.
    7. (Masonry)
       (a) A keystone.
       (b) That part of the plastering which is forced through
           between the laths and holds the rest in place.
    8. (Mach.)
       (a) A wedge to unite two or more pieces, or adjust their
           relative position; a cotter; a forelock. See Illusts.
           of {Cotter}, and {Gib}.
       (b) 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.
    9. (Bot.) An indehiscent, one-seeded fruit furnished with a
       wing, as the fruit of the ash and maple; a samara; --
       called also {key fruit}.
    10. (Mus.)
        (a) 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.
        (b) The fundamental tone of a movement to which its
            modulations are referred, and with which it generally
            begins and ends; keynote.
                  Both warbling of one song, both in one key.
    11. Fig: The general pitch or tone of a sentence or
              You fall at once into a lower key.   --Cowper.
    {Key bed}. Same as {Key seat}.
    {Key bolt}, a bolt which has a mortise near the end, and is
       secured by a cotter or wedge instead of a nut.
    {Key bugle}. See {Kent bugle}.
    {Key of a position} or {country.} (Mil.) See {Key}, 4.
    {Key seat} (Mach.), a bed or groove to receive a key which
       prevents one part from turning on the other.
    {Key way}, a channel for a key, in the hole of a piece which
       is keyed to a shaft; an internal key seat; -- called also
       {key seat}.
    {Key wrench} (Mach.), an adjustable wrench in which the
       movable jaw is made fast by a key.
    {Power of the keys} (Eccl.), the authority claimed by the
       ministry in some Christian churches to administer the
       discipline of the church, and to grant or withhold its
       privileges; -- so called from the declaration of Christ,
       ``I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of
       heaven.'' --Matt. xvi. 19.
  2. \Key\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Keved}; p. pr. & vb. n.
    To fasten or secure firmly; to fasten or tighten with keys or
    wedges. --Francis.
    {To key up}.
    (a) (Arch.) To raise (the whole ring of an arch) off its
        centering, by driving in the keystone forcibly.
    (b) (Mus.) To raise the pitch of.
    (c) Hence, fig., to produce nervous tension in.
  3. \Key\, n. (Teleg.)
    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.
  4. \Key\, n.
    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.
Computing Dictionary

1. A value used to identify a record in a database, derived by applying some fixed function to the record. The key is often simply one of the fields (a column if the database is considered as a table with records being rows, see "key field"). Alternatively the key may be obtained by applying some function, e.g. a hash function, to one or more of the fields. The set of keys for all records forms an index. Multiple indexes may be built for one database depending on how it is to be searched.

2. A value which must be fed into the algorithm used to decode an encrypted message in order to reproduce the original plain text. Some encryption schemes use the same (secret) key to encrypt and decrypt a message, but public key encryption uses a "private" (secret) key and a "public" key which is known by all parties.

Dream Dictionary
 Definition: Seeing a key in your dream, symbolizes opportunities, access, control, secrets, or responsibilities. You may be locking away your own inner feelings and emotions. Dreaming that you lose your keys means your fear of losing your position or status in life. You may have lost control of yourself. It may also foretells of unexpected changes and unpleasant adventures. If you give your key away, then it suggests that you have given up control of some situation or responsibility. Dreaming that you find keys means that you have found a solution to a problem. Seeing broken keys in your dream means many quarrels and possibly a break-up. Hearing the sounds of keys rattling indicates that you have the right attitude toward life. You are heading in the right direction and asking all the right questions in the process. It is also a sign of decisive action.
Easton Bible Dictionary

frequently mentioned in Scripture. It is called in Hebrew _maphteah_, i.e., the opener (Judg. 3:25); and in the Greek New Testament _kleis_, from its use in shutting (Matt. 16:19; Luke 11:52; Rev. 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 (comp. Isa. 22:22).

The word is used figuratively of power or authority or office (Isa. 22:22; Rev. 3:7; Rev. 1:8; comp. 9:1; 20:1; comp. also Matt. 16:19; 18:18). The "key of knowledge" (Luke 11:52; comp. Matt. 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.

Thesaurus Terms
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