Adjective "key" definition and examples

Pronunciation

/kiː/

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Definitions and examples

noun

A small piece of shaped metal with incisions cut to fit the wards of a particular lock, which is inserted into a lock and turned to open or close it.
  1. 'a room key'
  2. 'Gone forever are the enormous key rings with the bunches of clanging keys carried by the prison officers.'
  3. 'He walked me to the door and I fumbled with my keys before opening it.'
  4. 'Then they tried to use the keys to open the door but put the wrong key in the lock.'
  5. 'I fished out my keys, opened the door, and let him in.'
  6. 'He pulled the keys out, opened the door and slammed it closed.'
  7. 'Thieves are only too happy to look out for people leaving their doors open and keys on show.'
  8. 'It will be a far cry from North Sea Camp open prison where inmates have keys to their own rooms.'
  9. 'Peterson glared at him as he pulled a house key from his jacket pocket.'
  10. 'I inserted my key into the lock and opened the door, listening for telltale sounds.'
  11. 'Later on I realized I had lost my keys and Bernie found them in the sand, about fifteen feet away from where we were sitting.'
  12. 'I am now car-less and about £2,000 out of pocket, as I don't think that the insurance will pay out as I had left the keys in the ignition.'
  13. 'Twist the key in the ignition and the engine doesn't so much explode into life as dutifully and modestly clear its throat.'
  14. 'He swerved into his parking space on the dock, took his key out of the ignition, locked the car and ran up to the ship.'
  15. 'Anytime we flip a switch, turn a key in the ignition, or mail a letter, we expect something to happen.'
  16. 'There are systems already installed in our vehicles to warn us that we have left our headlights on or our keys in the ignition.'
  17. 'Because it was a secluded spot with no-one else around she left the keys in the ignition with the engine running.'
  18. 'She turned the key in the ignition and they left Pickering Beach, driving west.'
  19. 'Now he reached for the keys, turned the ignition key and waited, half-expecting the car not to start.'
  20. 'Thieves have been preying on motorists who leave their keys in the ignition and engines running to defrost their cars.'
  21. 'I put everything back in the bag, grabbed my keys out of the ignition, locked the doors, slung the bag over my shoulder and waited.'
  22. 'It later serviced the local textile industry, but then found a niche with the water industry, making valve keys for reservoirs and water mains.'
  23. 'Slotted stems are turned with a screwdriver and square ones are turned with a radiator key.'
  24. 'Along the same line are the T-shaped hex tools with vinyl grips and L-shaped keys for greater torque power.'
  25. 'Use a lag-screw system that includes a special key that can sink or retrieve the screw.'
  26. 'A cotter key fits in the two holes I drilled at the bottom and holds it open or shut.'
  27. 'In the box you also get a well-written manual, a bag of drive rails, a large collection of screws/standoffs and the keys for the side panel.'
Each of several buttons on a panel for operating a computer, typewriter, or telephone.
  1. 'The Apple had a simple keyboard that only had upper case letters and only two arrow keys.'
  2. 'The participants initiated the trials by pressing any of the keys on the computer keyboard.'
  3. 'The arrow key is directional I think - you click up to select ones above your current one, left to move to the left.'
  4. 'It means that if you can press keys on a keyboard, you have what is required to create your very own webpage!'
  5. 'Both Shift keys and the Return and Backspace keys are full size, which is always good to see.'
  6. 'You must use the number keys in the numeric keypad on the left of your keyboard.'
  7. 'In the background, as I pound away at the keys on my computer, the second half of the Sunday-night Bucs-Bears game has just begun.'
  8. 'Finally, he pressed the enter key on the last keypad.'
  9. 'You will find yourself accidentally hitting the Alt and delete keys quite a bit.'
  10. 'Tom furrowed his brow and tapped a few keys on his computer.'
  11. 'a piece composed solely for the white keys on the piano'
  12. 'The placement of the pianist's fingers on the keys also will affect dynamics to a certain degree.'
  13. 'These ratios produce the eight notes of an octave in the musical scale corresponding to the white keys on a piano.'
  14. 'I walked out into the hall and ran my fingers over the piano keys.'
  15. 'There are twelve half-tones (black and white keys on a piano), or steps, in an octave.'
  16. 'Her fingers stilled on the keys as the piano strings stopped their vibrations and the lounge was silent again.'
  17. 'As she sang, her back straightened up and she resumed her normal regal posture as her fingers pounded the keys of the piano in front of her.'
  18. 'He was obviously very passionate about his music as he sat behind his piano lightly fingering the keys for a brief moment.'
  19. 'Sara was intently studying the ivory and black keys of the piano.'
  20. 'This last model is for more serious keyboard players who need the approximate feel of a piano's heavier keys under their fingers.'
  21. 'Anna could barely reach the piano keys when she started showing signs of a rare musical ability.'
  22. 'Using the Morse key, operators at the stations were able to communicate with the world 24 hours a day.'
A thing that provides a means of achieving or understanding something.
  1. 'Education is the key to a future for humankind, especially for a healthier humankind with a suitable replacement rate.'
  2. 'The inscription is therefore credited as one of the keys to opening up the thousands of years of Egyptian history.'
  3. 'The key is to plan a fun event early in the year that features activities the family will enjoy.'
  4. 'But as he explains, it is this hardship that provides a key to understanding the spirit and culture of these tribes.'
  5. 'This awareness will provide the key to tracking animals, both human and otherwise.'
  6. 'Universal responsibility is the real key to human survival.'
  7. 'In a recent commencement address, she gave graduates a few keys to being a well-rounded person.'
  8. 'In this it seems to me he is correct and has come up with a vital key to our understanding of Elgar.'
  9. 'Clark, who is a former champion, said consistency was the key to their victory.'
  10. 'In the case of the stockmarket, the key to achieving good capital growth is profitability.'
  11. 'In fact, as will be obvious to any reader who has ever used an index, the symbols in the key refer to the chapters in which the characters appear.'
  12. 'For the reader who is not familiar with Soviet map symbols, there is a key in the back of the book.'
  13. 'References to pertinent illustrations are noted within the keys to help the user visualize and clarify the plant anatomy in question.'
  14. 'Answer keys for tests and practice problems are found in each chapter.'
  15. 'The classroom teacher rated each test using answer keys, while the second author independently scored all tests.'
  16. 'After the teaching tips and 175 daily lessons, there's a set of workbook answer keys, tests and quiz drill sheets.'
  17. 'If there are no answer keys, compare your answers against those of some friends of yours who are also doing the practice competitions.'
  18. 'Then, she tried the drawer of the desk that she knew the test answer key was hidden in.'
  19. 'My music students have those same moments because they, too, have the answer key.'
  20. 'it took him some time to find the key, the connection between the code and the Odyssey'
  21. 'Quantum cryptography systems discard these corrupt keys and only use codes that are known to be secure.'
  22. 'Asymmetric encryption relies on two keys that work together as a pair an encryption key and a decryption key.'
  23. 'How could you get a secret encryption key to someone in cyberspace?'
  24. 'The strongest of all cipher systems require a random key as long as the message that's being sent.'
  25. 'The ‘DaVinci code’ of the title refers to cryptic keys supposedly incorporated by Leonardo da Vinci into his art.'
  26. 'The key is whether the defensive king can get within the promotion ‘square’.'
A group of notes based on a particular note and comprising a scale, regarded as forming the tonal basis of a piece of music.
  1. 'At this point I wish Mr Gibb had written it in a slightly lower key, but what is good enough for Barbra Streisand is good enough for me.'
  2. 'The first section scampers about in a happy fashion but darkens suddenly in the key of D minor.'
  3. 'Transposition is explained in a concise manner on the last page, making it easy for students to learn how to play these exercises in other keys.'
  4. 'his voice had changed to a lower key'
  5. 'Madame Lebrun was bustling in and out, giving orders in a high key to a yard-boy.'
  6. 'The language of religion will return towards the end of his life, but in a different key, in his final collection of poems.'
  7. 'Described in the press notes as ‘a love story in a minor key,’ this will certainly strike a chord with fans of character drama.'
  8. 'these mauves, lime greens, and saffron yellows recall the high key of El Greco's palette'
  9. 'Because of the dots and the diagonal lines and unmodulated color, I work in a color key that I love to play with.'
  10. 'Embodying the high key of colour associated with Rubénisme, it nevertheless belongs to the tradition of monumental mural painting begun by Le Brun.'
The dry winged fruit of an ash, maple, or sycamore, typically growing in bunches; a samara.
    The part of a first coat of wall plaster that passes between the laths and so secures the rest.
    1. 'Scratch the render to form a key and, the next day, fill flush with a slightly weaker mix.'
    2. 'Some rock lath was textured or perforated to provide a key for wet plaster.'
    The keyhole-shaped area marked on the court near each basket.
    1. 'If you want, you can stand near the top of the key and make the players go around you.'
    2. 'The post player nearest the ball is the one to break and set a screen for the guard near the top of the key.'
    3. 'Well, the post away from the ball gets a pick and then breaks across the key.'

    adjective

    Of crucial importance.
    1. 'Before discussing our findings, it is important to consider key limitations of the study.'
    2. 'We could do with a couple of key professionals in key positions.'
    3. 'In particular, the size of the local catchment area will be key.'
    4. 'They say that in this case, some of the people who are retiring are in key positions.'
    5. 'The intention is to make the city a centre of innovation in key technologies and the authorities are betting heavily on it.'
    6. 'The Republicans also won a series of major victories in key congressional races.'
    7. 'There are also moments when the emotional responses of key characters in key situations completely fail to ring true.'
    8. 'Both sides were short a number of key players for this important match.'
    9. 'After only three years the business now consists of several different companies - all operating in key markets.'
    10. 'But they paid the price for conceding too many penalties and making too many basic errors in key situations.'

    verb

    Enter or operate on (data) by means of a computer keyboard or telephone keypad.
    1. no object 'a hacker caused disruption after keying into a vital database'
    2. 'Hundreds of shoppers took advantage of a discount scheme - in compensation for late delivery - for which they keyed in an individual code.'
    3. 'Doctor Slater finished writing out several prescriptions, then keyed in the pharmacy delivery passwords and nodded as the confirmation was displayed.'
    4. 'I reckon since I arrived and purchased my mobile phone I have keyed in and later deleted at least 25 numbers.'
    5. 'Within 30 seconds of being keyed in, applications can be viewed on-screen by the hiring company.'
    6. 'Zack rubs his hands together as John keys in some data on his terminal.'
    7. 'A digital image of the check is then taken and the system verifies the amount matches the one the customer keyed in.'
    8. 'Pics have to be uploaded directly from my laptop using the connection at home - while the words are better keyed in from an internet cafe.'
    9. 'Thus, anyone who drops in should feel free to type in a question so that it will be keyed up when I return.'
    10. 'He moved over to his console again and keyed in a few commands.'
    11. 'Even in 2005, historical data sometimes has to be keyed in by hand!'
    Fasten (something) in position with a pin, wedge, or bolt.
    1. 'Immovably keyed upon the cranked shaft is a heavy wooden cone pulley.'
    2. 'Since the crank is keyed to the pin, I'll have to arrange for each pin to come out of its main driver, rotated as far behind the vertical center-line as it is forward, then pressed back in.'
    Roughen (a surface) to help the adhesion of plaster or other material.
    1. 'If the piece is varnished or painted, sand it well to remove most of the finish and key the surface.'
    Word (an advertisement in a periodical), typically by varying the form of the address given, so as to identify the publication generating particular responses.
    1. 'But the firm makes much of its money from selling advertising space keyed to the words for which its users search.'
    Vandalize (a car) by scraping its paint with a key.
    1. 'I couldn't come up with anything that wouldn't get my car keyed or otherwise vandalized in the middle of the night.'
    2. 'For the girl ranting about keying SUVs. I'm so glad you've decided to fight against people's destructive actions with such a constructive solution.'
    Be the crucial factor in achieving.
    1. 'Kaczowka keyed the offensive attack with 21 points and nine rebounds, while point guard Dani Langford contributed 15 points and eight assists.'
    2. 'The run was keyed by the re-entry into the game of forward Mike Sovran, a fifth year co-captain, who scored seven points in that span.'

    Definitions

    1. a small metal instrument specially cut to fit into a lock and move its bolt.

    2. any of various devices resembling or functioning as a key: the key of a clock.

    3. key card.

    4. something that affords a means of access: the key to happiness.

    5. something that secures or controls entrance to a place: Gibraltar is the key to the Mediterranean.

    6. something that affords a means of clarifying a problem.

    7. a book, pamphlet, or other text containing the solutions o

    More examples(as adjective)

    "waters can be key to crises."

    "regions can be key to futures."

    "environments can be key to efforts."

    "earthworms can be key to things."

    "demands can be key to futures."

    More examples++

    Origin

    (key)Old English cǣg, cǣge, of unknown origin.

    Phrase

    key someone/something into (or in with)
    key something to
    be keyed up