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key

 
Adjective key has 2 senses
  1. cardinal, central, fundamental, key, primal - 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"
    Antonym: unimportant (indirect, via important)
  2. operative, key - effective; producing a desired effect; "the operative word"
    Antonyms: insignificant, unimportant (indirect, via significant)
Noun key has 15 senses
  1. key - metal device shaped in such a way that when it is inserted into the appropriate lock the lock's mechanism can be rotated
    --1 is a kind of
    device
    --1 has parts: shank, stem
    --1 has particulars:
     ignition key; latchkey; passkey, passe-partout, master key, master
    Derived forms: verb key3, verb key2
  2. key - something crucial for explaining; "the key to development is economic integration"
    --2 is a kind of
    explanation
  3. key - pitch of the voice; "he spoke in a low key"
    --3 is a kind of
    pitch
    Derived form: verb key4
  4. key, tonality - any of 24 major or minor diatonic scales that provide the tonal framework for a piece of music
    --4 is a kind of musical notation
    --4 has particulars:
     major key, major mode; minor key, minor mode; tonic key, home key
    Derived form: verb key4
  5. key - a kilogram of a narcotic drug; "they were carrying two keys of heroin"
    --5 is a kind of
    kilogram, kg, kilo
  6. samara, key fruit, key - a winged often one-seed indehiscent fruit as of the ash or elm or maple
    --6 is a kind of achene
  7. Key, Francis Scott Key - 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)
    --7 is a kind of lawyer, attorney; poet
  8. key, cay, Florida keys - a coral reef off the southern coast of Florida
    --8 is a kind of coral reef
    --8 is a part of Florida, Sunshine State, Everglade State, FL
  9. key, paint - (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"
    --9 is a kind of space
    --9 is a part of basketball court
    --9 has parts: foul line
  10. key - a list of answers to a test; "some students had stolen the key to the final exam"
    --10 is a kind of
    list, listing
  11. key - a list of words or phrases that explain symbols or abbreviations
    --11 is a kind of
    list, listing
    --11 has particulars: key word
  12. key - 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"
    --12 is a kind of
    positive identification
  13. winder, key - mechanical device used to wind another device that is driven by a spring (as a clock)
    --13 is a kind of mechanical device
    --13 has particulars: watch key
  14. keystone, key, headstone - the central building block at the top of an arch or vault
    --14 is a kind of building block
    --14 is a part of arch
    --14 has particulars: quoin, coign, coigne
  15. key - a lever that actuates a mechanism when depressed
    --15 is a kind of
    lever
    --15 is a part of action, action mechanism
    --15 is a member of keyboard
    --15 has particulars:
     backspace key, backspacer; control key, command key; return key, return; space bar; tab key, tab; telegraph key
Verb key has 5 senses
  1. identify, discover, key, key out, distinguish, describe, name - identify as in botany or biology, for example
    Sample sentences:
    Somebody ----s something
    Somebody ----s somebody
    Something ----s something
  2. key - provide with a key; "We were keyed after the locks were changed in the building"
    --2 is one way to
    supply, provide, render, furnish
    Derived form: noun key1
    Sample sentence:
    Somebody ----s somebody
  3. key - vandalize a car by scratching the sides with a key; "His new Mercedes was keyed last night in the parking lot"
    --3 is one way to
    vandalize, vandalise
    Derived form: noun key1
    Sample sentence:
    Somebody ----s something
  4. key - regulate the musical pitch of
    --4 is one way to
    harmonize, harmonise, chord
    Derived forms: noun key3, noun key4
    Sample sentence:
    Somebody ----s something PP
  5. key - harmonize with or adjust to; "key one's actions to the voters' prevailing attitude"
    --5 is one way to
    harmonize, harmonise, reconcile
    Sample sentence:
    Somebody ----s somebody PP
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