Definition of keynote in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkēˌnōt/


1A prevailing tone or central theme, typically one set or introduced at the start of a conference: individuality is the keynote of the Nineties [as modifier]: he delivered the keynote address at the launch
More example sentences
  • The keynote for the tone of the series was a credible representation of the lives of its three central characters.
  • There were keynote addresses, and smaller seminars and workshops.
  • An estimated 10,000 to 20,000 participated in the demonstration while the prime minister was delivering his annual keynote economic speech.
theme, salient point, gist, substance, burden, tenor, pith, marrow, essence, heart, core, basis, essential feature/element, crux
2 Music The note on which a key is based.
Example sentences
  • They also should be able to sing the keynote of a tonal pattern or song presented by the teacher.
  • Studies of tonality have shown that listeners agree on the keynote of a musical excerpt and that the listeners in turn agree with the composer.
  • All three forms have in common the flattened third scale degree, producing a characteristic minor 3rd with the keynote.



Example sentences
  • ‘Change is Inevitable: Growth is Optional’ will be the topic of discussion for this keynoter, who is a former camper and counselor.
  • I'm appalled that the Republican party would use as its keynoter someone who was once a proud segregationist.
  • I had ample opportunity to depart from my prepared texts during five workshops to sound a note discordant from the previous keynoters.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: key·note

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