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Dictionary definition for: Key

1. (s) 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"

2. (v) identify as in botany or biology, for example

3. (n) metal device shaped in such a way that when it is inserted into the appropriate lock the lock''s mechanism can be rotated

4. (s) effective; producing a desired effect; "the operative word"

5. (v) provide with a key; "We were keyed after the locks were changed in the building"

6. (n) something crucial for explaining; "the key to development is economic integration"

7. (n) pitch of the voice; "he spoke in a low key"

8. (v) vandalize a car by scratching the sides with a key; "His new Mercedes was keyed last night in the parking lot"

9. (v) regulate the musical pitch of

10. (n) any of 24 major or minor diatonic scales that provide the tonal framework for a piece of music

11. (v) harmonize with or adjust to; "key one''s actions to the voters" prevailing attitude"

12. (n) a kilogram of a narcotic drug; "they were carrying two keys of heroin"

13. (n) a winged often one-seed indehiscent fruit as of the ash or elm or maple

14. (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)

15. (n) a coral reef off the southern coast of Florida

16. (n) (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"

17. (n) a list of answers to a test; "some students had stolen the key to the final exam"

18. (n) a list of words or phrases that explain symbols or abbreviations

19. (n) 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"

20. (n) mechanical device used to wind another device that is driven by a spring (as a clock)

21. (n) the central building block at the top of an arch or vault

22. (n) a lever that actuates a mechanism when depressed

WordNet 2.1 Copyright Princeton University. All rights reserved.