Synonyms of key


1. key, device

usage: metal device shaped in such a way that when it is inserted into the appropriate lock the lock's mechanism can be rotated

2. key, explanation

usage: something crucial for explaining; "the key to development is economic integration"

3. key, pitch

usage: pitch of the voice; "he spoke in a low key"

4. key, tonality, musical notation

usage: any of 24 major or minor diatonic scales that provide the tonal framework for a piece of music

5. key, kilogram, kg, kilo

usage: a kilogram of a narcotic drug; "they were carrying two keys of heroin"

6. samara, key fruit, key, achene

usage: a winged often one-seed indehiscent fruit as of the ash or elm or maple

7. Key, Francis Scott Key

usage: 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)

8. key, cay, Florida key, coral reef

usage: a coral reef off the southern coast of Florida

9. key, paint, space

usage: (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"

10. key, list, listing

usage: a list of answers to a test; "some students had stolen the key to the final exam"

11. key, list, listing

usage: a list of words or phrases that explain symbols or abbreviations

12. key, positive identification

usage: 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"

13. winder, key, mechanical device

usage: mechanical device used to wind another device that is driven by a spring (as a clock)

14. keystone, key, headstone, building block

usage: the central building block at the top of an arch or vault

15. key, lever

usage: a lever (as in a keyboard) that actuates a mechanism when depressed


1. identify, discover, key, key out, distinguish, describe, name

usage: identify as in botany or biology, for example

2. key, supply, provide, render, furnish

usage: provide with a key; "We were keyed after the locks were changed in the building"

3. key, vandalize, vandalise

usage: vandalize a car by scratching the sides with a key; "His new Mercedes was keyed last night in the parking lot"

4. key, harmonize, harmonise, chord

usage: regulate the musical pitch of

5. key, harmonize, harmonise, reconcile

usage: harmonize with or adjust to; "key one's actions to the voters' prevailing attitude"


1. cardinal, central, fundamental, key, primal, important (vs. unimportant), of import

usage: 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"

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Definition and meaning of key (Dictionary)