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key

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1key/ˈkiː/noun
pluralkeys
1key
/ˈkiː/
noun
pluralkeys
Learner's definition of KEY  
[count]
: a device that is used to open a lock or start an automobile
◊ The usual type of key is a small metal object that you insert into a narrow opening and turn.
— often used figuratively
— see also latchkey, passkey, skeleton key
   b : a device that looks like a key and that is used to turn something
: something that is necessary in order to do or achieve something— usually singular— usually + to
: something that provides an explanation or solution— usually + to
   b : a list of words or phrases that explain the meaning of symbols or abbreviations
: any one of the buttons of a computer or typewriter that you push with your fingers
— see picture at computersee also function key, shift key
   b : any one of the parts that you push with your fingers to play a piano or similar musical instrument
music : a system of musical tones based on a scale beginning on the note for which the system is named

under lock and key

— see 2lock
— compare 4key
2key/ˈkiː/adjective
2key
/ˈkiː/
adjective
Learner's definition of KEY  
: extremely important
3key/ˈkiː/verb
keyskeyedkeying
3key
/ˈkiː/
verb
keyskeyedkeying
Learner's definition of KEY  
[+ object]
: to enter (information) by using the keys of a computer, typewriter, etc.— often + in— often + into
US, informal : to have the most important part in (something)

key to

[phrasal verb]chiefly US
key (something) to (something or someone) : to make (something) suitable for (a particular use or type of person)— often used as (be) keyed to
key (something) to (something) : to change (something) in a way that is closely related to (something else)— usually used as (be) keyed to
4key/ˈkiː/noun
pluralkeys
4key
/ˈkiː/
noun
pluralkeys
Learner's definition of KEY  
[count] : a low island or reef
the Keys : a group of small islands off the southern coast of Florida
— compare 1key
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Comments & Questions
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