- 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；a small, shaped metal implement for operating a switch in the form of a lock, especially one operating the ignition of a motor vehicle
- of paramount or crucial importance
- enter or operate on (data) by means of a computer keyboard or telephone keypad；fasten (something) in position with a pin, wedge, or bolt
verb: key, 3rd person present: keys, gerund or present participle: keying, past tense: keyed, past participle: keyed
noun: key, plural noun: keys
- 1. 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 there were two keys to the cupboard a room key
- ▪ a small, shaped metal implement for operating a switch in the form of a lock, especially one operating the ignition of a motor vehicle Nat turned the key in the ignition
- ▪ short for key card
- ▪ an instrument for grasping and turning a screw, peg, or nut, especially one for winding a clock or turning a valve.
- ▪ a pin, bolt, or wedge inserted between other pieces, or fitting into a hole or space designed for it, so as to lock parts together.
- 2. each of several buttons on a panel for operating a computer, typewriter, or telephone press the ENTER key
- ▪ a lever depressed by the finger in playing an instrument such as the organ, piano, flute, or concertina a piece composed solely for the white keys on the piano
- ▪ a lever operating a mechanical device for making or breaking an electric circuit, for example in telegraphy.
- 3. a thing that provides a means of gaining access to or understanding something the key to Jack's behavior may lie submerged in his unhappy past 同義詞
- ▪ an explanatory list of symbols used in a map, table, etc.
- ▪ a set of answers to exercises or problems a key at the back of the book provides the answers
- ▪ a word or system for solving a cipher or code it took him some time to find the key, the connection between the code and the Odyssey
- ▪ the first move in the solution of a chess problem.
- ▪ a field in a record which is used to identify that record uniquely.
- 4. a group of notes based on a particular note and comprising a scale, regarded as forming the tonal basis of a piece or passage of music the key of E minor 同義詞
- ▪ the tone or pitch of someone's voice his voice had changed to a lower key
- ▪ the prevailing tone or tenor of a piece of writing, situation, etc. it was like the sixties all over again, in a new, more austerely intellectual key 同義詞
- ▪ the prevailing range of tones or intensities in a painting these mauves, lime greens, and saffron yellows recall the high key of El Greco's palette
- 5. the dry winged fruit of an ash, maple, or sycamore maple, typically growing in bunches; a samara.
- 6. the part of a first coat of wall plaster that passes between the laths and so secures the rest.
- ▪ the roughness of a surface, helping the adhesion of plaster or other material.
- 7. the keyhole-shaped area marked on the court near each basket, comprising the free-throw circle and the foul line he hit another jumper from the top of the key
- 1. of paramount or crucial importance she became a key figure in the suffragette movement
- 1. enter or operate on (data) by means of a computer keyboard or telephone keypad not everyone can key data quickly and accurately she keyed in a series of commands
- 2. fasten (something) in position with a pin, wedge, or bolt the coils may be keyed into the slots by fiber wedges
- 3. roughen (a surface) to help the adhesion of plaster or other material a wooden float with nails driven through it is used to key the wall surface between coats
- 4. word (an advertisement in a particular periodical), typically by varying the form of the address given, so as to identify the publication generating particular responses one keys advertisements and measures returns
- 5. informal vandalize a car by scraping the paint from it with a key somebody could key your car and not get punished
- 6. North American informal be the crucial factor in achieving Ewing keyed a 73–35 advantage on the boards with twenty rebounds