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Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
key (noun)
1.
a) a usually metal instrument by which the bolt of a lock is turned
b) any of various devices having the form or function of such a key
2.
a) a means of gaining or preventing entrance, possession, or control
b) an instrumental or deciding factor
3.
a) something that gives an explanation or identification or provides a solution - the key to a riddle
b) a list of words or phrases giving an explanation of symbols or abbreviations
c) an aid to interpretation or identification - clue
d) an arrangement of the salient characters of a group of plants or animals or of taxa designed to facilitate identification
e) a map legend
4.
a) (1) - cotter pin
(2) - cotter
b) a keystone in an arch
c) a small piece of wood or metal used as a wedge or for preventing motion between parts
5.
a) one of the levers of a keyboard musical instrument that actuates the mechanism and produces the tones
b) a lever that controls a vent in the side of a woodwind instrument or a valve in a brass instrument
c) a part to be depressed by a finger that serves as one unit of a keyboard
6.
- samara
7.
a system of tones and harmonies generated from a hierarchical scale of seven tones based on a tonic - the key of G major
8.
a) characteristic style or tone
b) the tone or pitch of a voice
c) the predominant tone of a photograph with respect to its lightness or darkness
9.
a decoration or charm resembling a key
10.
a small switch for opening or closing an electric circuit - a telegraph key
11.
the set of instructions governing the encipherment and decipherment of messages
12.
a free-throw area in basketball
key (verb)
transitive verb
1.
to lock with or as if with a key as - fasten
a) to secure (as a pulley on a shaft) by a key
b) to finish off (an arch) by inserting a keystone
2.
to regulate the musical pitch of
3.
to bring into harmony or conformity make appropriate - attune remarks keyed to a situation
4.
to identify (a biological specimen) by a key
5.
to provide with identifying or explanatory cross-references - instructions keyed to accompanying drawings John Gartner
6.
to make nervous, tense, or excited - usually used with up
7.
- keyboard often used with in
8.
intransitive verb
to be essential to play the most important part in - defense keyed the victory
1.
to use a key
2.
to observe the position or movement of an opposing player in football in order to anticipate the play - usually used with on
3.
- keyboard
key (adjective)
- important fundamental key issues
key (noun)
a low island or reef , specifically any of the coral islets off the southern coast of Florida
key (noun)
slang a kilogram especially of marijuana or heroin
Key (biographical name)
Francis Scott 1779–1843 Am. lawyer & author of “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Key (biographical name)
John (Phillip) 1961–     prime min. of New Zealand (2008–  )
Merriam-Webster Online Thesaurus
key (adjective)
1.
coming before all others in importance
SYNONIMS:
arch, big, capital, cardinal, central, chief, dominant, first, grand, great, greatest, highest, key, leading, main, master, number one ( No. 1), numero uno, overbearing, overmastering, overriding, paramount, predominant, preeminent, premier, primal, primary, principal, prior, sovereign ( sovran), supreme
RELATED WORDS:
distinguished, eminent, illustrious, noble, notable, noteworthy, outstanding, prestigious, signal, star, stellar, superior; high-level, senior, top; important, influential, major, mighty, momentous, significant; incomparable, matchless, unequaled ( unequalled), unparalleled, unsurpassed; celebrated, famed, famous, renowned
NEAR ANTONYMS:
inconsequential, inconsiderable, insignificant, minor, negligible, slight, trifling, trivial, unimportant; collateral, inferior, secondary, subordinate, subsidiary
last, least
key (adjective)
2.
of the greatest possible importance
SYNONIMS:
critical, key, pivotal, vital
RELATED WORDS:
decisive, life-and-death ( life-or-death), weighty; basic, elementary, fundamental; essential, indispensable, necessary, requisite; pressing, urgent
NEAR ANTONYMS:
inconsequential, insignificant, minor, trivial, unimportant
key (noun)
1.
an explanatory list of the symbols on a map or chart
SYNONIMS:
key
RELATED WORDS:
scale; caption; guide, table
key (noun)
2.
something that allows someone to achieve a desired goal
SYNONIMS:
gateway, key, open sesame, secret, ticket
RELATED WORDS:
password; accomplishment, achievement, attainment, coup, success, triumph; approach, manner, means, method, style, system, technique, way; blueprint, design, ground plan, plan, program, scheme, strategy
key (noun)
3.
the means or right of entering or participating in
SYNONIMS:
access, accession, admission, admittance, door, doorway, entrée ( entree), entry, gateway, ingress, key, passport, ticket
RELATED WORDS:
approval, authorization, certification, permission, qualification; open door, welcome mat
NEAR ANTONYMS:
discharge, dismissal, ejection, expulsion, ouster, rejection, removal
key (verb)
to bring to a state free of conflicts, inconsistencies, or differences
SYNONIMS:
accommodate, attune, conciliate, conform, coordinate, key, reconcile
RELATED WORDS:
adapt, tune; blend, combine, connect, correlate, dovetail, fit, fuse, integrate, join, match, merge, orchestrate, pair, square, suit, synchronize, synthesize, unify, unite; align ( aline), arrange, array, balance, equalize, even, order, proportion, regularize, standardize
NEAR ANTONYMS:
confuse, disarray, disorder, disorganize, disrupt, disturb, skew, upset; alienate, estrange
disharmonize
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