key

key
key1 W1S2 [ki:] adj [no comparative]
very important or necessary
China's support is key to the success of the coalition.
key factor/points/questions etc
The President makes all the key decisions on foreign policy.
key role/player/figure etc
(=one with a lot of influence on a result)
The show has been hit by the departure of key personnel.
→↑low-key
key 2
key2 W3S2 n
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1¦(lock)¦
2¦(important part)¦
3¦(computer)¦
4¦(music)¦
5¦(map/drawing)¦
6¦(test)¦
7¦(island)¦
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[: Old English; Origin: cAg]
1.) ¦(LOCK)¦
a small specially shaped piece of metal that you put into a lock and turn in order to lock or unlock a door, start a car etc
house/car keys
I lost my house keys.
A bunch of keys hung from his belt.
key to
I can lend you a spare key to the store until you get one cut (=made) .
2.) ¦(IMPORTANT PART)¦
the key
the part of a plan, action etc, that will make it possible for it to succeed
the key to
Working well as a team is the key to success .
a discovery that may hold the key to our understanding of the universe
3.) ¦(COMPUTER)¦
the buttons that you press on a computer ↑keyboard to operate the computer
Press the ESCAPE key to exit.
hot key/shortcut key
(=a special key on a computer that does specific things)
4.) ¦(MUSIC)¦
a) [usually plural]
the wooden or metal parts that you press on a piano and some wind instruments in order to play them
piano keys
b) a scale of notes that begins with one particular note, or the quality of sound this scale has
a tune in the key of A minor
5.) ¦(MAP/DRAWING)¦
a list of the signs, colours etc used on a map or technical drawing etc that explains what they mean
6.) ¦(TEST)¦
the printed answers to a test or set of questions in a book
7.) ¦(ISLAND)¦ [usually plural]
a small flat island, especially one that is part of a group near the coast
the Florida Keys
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HINT sense 1
Do not say 'the key of' something. Say the key to something.
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key 3
key3 v [T]
1.) AmE informal if you key a win for your team, you help it win a game because you play very well
Abdul keyed the game with three touchdowns.
2.) BrE to prepare a surface so that a covering such as paint will stick to it
key in [key sth<=>in] phr v
to put information into a computer or other machine, using buttons or a keyboard
Key in your password and press 'Return'.
key to [key sth to sth] phr v
1.) to make or change a system so that it works well with something else
The daycare hours are keyed to the needs of working parents.
2.) if the level, price, or value of something is keyed to something else, it is related to it and they rise and fall at the same time
Pensions are keyed to the rate of inflation.
→↑keyed up

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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  • Key — (k[=e]), n. [OE. keye, key, kay, AS. c[ae]g.] 1. An instrument by means of which the bolt of a lock is shot or drawn; usually, a removable metal instrument fitted to the mechanism of a particular lock and operated by turning in its place. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • KEY — ist das englische Wort für Schlüssel, und damit Bestandteil von Anglizismen: Key Account Key Account Manager etc. Key steht im Sinne von Cay für eine kleine flache Insel: insbesondere die Florida Keys, Inselkette im US Bundesstaat Florida, USA:… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Key — may refer to: Building* Key, Carpentry: timber or metal wedges used across or between two or more members to act as a tightening agent. * Key, Painting: to rough the surface of previous coats of paint to allow a secure bond for the next or top… …   Wikipedia

  • Key — ist das englische Wort für Schlüssel, und damit Bestandteil von Anglizismen: Key Account Key Account Manager etc. Key steht im Sinne von Cay für eine kleine flache Insel: insbesondere die Florida Keys, Inselkette im US Bundesstaat Florida, USA:… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • KeY — is a formal software development tool that aims to integrate design, implementation, formal specification, and formal verification of object oriented software. It supports programs written in Java (more precisely: in a superset of Java Card) and… …   Wikipedia

  • key — key1 [kē] n. pl. keys [ME keye < OE cæge, akin to OFris kei, kēia, to secure, guard] 1. an instrument, usually of metal, for moving the bolt of a lock and thus locking or unlocking something 2. any of several instruments or mechanical devices… …   English World dictionary

  • key to — ˈkey to [transitive] usually passive [present tense I/you/we/they key to he/she/it keys to present participle keying to past tense keyed to …   Useful english dictionary

  • Key — Key, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Keved}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Keying}.] 1. To fasten or secure firmly; to fasten or tighten with keys or wedges. Francis. [1913 Webster] 2. (Computers) To enter (text, data) using keys, especially those on a keyboard; to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • key — adj: of vital importance (as in a business organization) esp. so as to be specially insured to the benefit of an employer key man key employee insurance Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • key — Ⅰ. key [1] ► NOUN (pl. keys) 1) a small piece of shaped metal which is inserted into a lock and rotated to open or close it. 2) an instrument for grasping and turning a screw, peg, or nut. 3) a lever depressed by the finger in playing an… …   English terms dictionary

  • key — key, a. Essential; most important; as, the key fact in the inquiry; the president was the key player inthe negotiations. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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