A key is a device that is used to operate a lock. A typical key is a small piece of metal consisting of two parts: the blade, which slides into the keyway of the lock and distinguishes between different keys, and the bow, which is left protruding so that torque can be applied by the user. A key is usually intended to operate one specific lock or a small number of locks that are keyed alike, so each lock requires a unique key. The key serves as a security token for access to the locked area; only persons having the correct key can open the lock and gain access.

The above text is a snippet from Wikipedia: Key (lock)
and as such is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.



  1. An object designed to open and close a lock.
  2. An object designed to fit between two other objects (such as a shaft and a wheel) in a mechanism and maintain their relative orientation.
  3. A crucial step or requirement.
    The key to solving this problem is persistence.
    the key to winning a game
  4. A guide explaining the symbols or terminology of a map or chart; a legend.
    The key says that A stands for the accounting department.
  5. A guide to the correct answers of a worksheet or test.
    Some students cheated by using the answer key.
  6. One of several small, usually square buttons on a typewriter or computer keyboard, mostly corresponding to text characters.
    Press the Escape key.
  7. One of a number of rectangular moving parts on a piano or musical keyboard, each causing a particular sound or note to be produced.
  8. One of various levers on a musical instrument used to select notes, such as a lever opening a hole on a woodwind.
  9. A hierarchical scale of musical notes on which a composition is based
    the key of B-flat major
  10. The general pitch or tone of a sentence or utterance.
  11. An indehiscent, one-seeded fruit furnished with a wing, such as the fruit of the ash and maple; a samara.
  12. A manual electrical switching device primarily used for the transmission of Morse code.
  13. A piece of information (e.g. a passphrase) used to encode or decode a message or messages.
  14. A password restricting access to an IRC channel.
  15. In a relational database, a field used as an index into another table (not necessarily unique).
  16. A value that uniquely identifies an entry in an associative array.
  17. The free-throw lane together with the circle surrounding the free-throw line, the free-throw lane having formerly been narrower, giving the area the shape of a skeleton key hole.
    He shoots from the top of the key.
  18. A series of logically organized groups of discriminating information which aims to allow the user to correctly identify a taxon.
  19. kilogram
  20. A piece of wood used as a wedge.
  21. The last board of a floor when laid down.
  22. A keystone.
  23. That part of the plastering which is forced through between the laths and holds the rest in place.

Noun (etymology 2)

  1. One of a string of small islands.
    "the Florida Keys"

Noun (etymology 3)


  1. To fit (a lock) with a key.
  2. To fit (pieces of a mechanical assembly) with a key to maintain the orientation between them.
  3. To mark or indicate with a symbol indicating membership in a class.
  4. To depress (a telegraph key).
  5. To operate (the transmitter switch of a two-way radio).
  6. (more usually to key in) To enter (information) by typing on a keyboard or keypad.
    Our instructor told us to key in our user IDs.
  7. To vandalize (a car, etc.) by scratching with an implement such as a key.
    He keyed the car that had taken his parking spot.
  8. To link (as one might do with a key or legend).
  9. To be identified as a certain taxon when using a key.


  1. Indispensable, supremely important.
    He is the key player for his soccer team.
  2. Important, salient.
    She makes several key points.

The above text is a snippet from Wiktionary: key
and as such is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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