A small piece of shaped metal with incisions cut to fit the wards of a particular lock, which is inserted into a lock and turned to open or close it
A low-lying island or reef, especially in the Caribbean
(B.1961), New Zealand National Party statesman, Prime Minister since 2008; full name John Phillip Key
the key to the mystery lay elsewhere
In (or out of) harmony
(Usually with capital initial) a key on a keyboard which is typically used to move to the bottom of a document being viewed, or to move the cursor to the end of a line of editable text.
Mechanics = keyway (now rare).
The part of a key that engages with the lever of a lock.
Music a box-like compartment on various musical instruments in which the keys are housed.
A tab or decorative object attached to a key chain or key ring; (now) specifically a tab incorporating a small electronic device for locking and unlocking a vehicle or performing other tasks remotely.
A log which when removed or dislodged enables the loosening of a logjam.
A man who plays a leading or important role in a group, an industry, etc.
A pin or thin rod used to hold something in place; compare sense A. 12a.
A tool for gripping or removing nuts.
A key with a solid stem.
A key on a keyboard which, when pressed simultaneously with another key, gives the latter an alternative function
The winged fruit of an ash tree, growing in clusters resembling bunches of keys
A key or a combination of keys providing quick access to a particular function within a computer program
A map drawn in bare outline, to simplify the use of a full map
Not elaborate, showy, or intensive; modest or restrained
(Of music) not having the correct pitch; out of tune
the councils' low-key approach had saved them from widespread media hostility
a slightly off-key rendition of an old family favourite
Any one of four keys on a computer or other electronic keyboard which are marked with an arrow or arrow-head and move the cursor around the screen in the direction indicated by the arrow.
Originally: a band of leather, fabric, metal, etc., for carrying keys and keeping them together. Later chiefly: a band or strap holding the key for a locker at a swimming pool, sports centre, etc., typically worn round the wrist or ankle.
A block placed at the summit of an arch or other structure, locking the whole together; a keystone.
A bolt which is secured by a key or cotter, rather than by a thread and nut.
The clavicle (now rare).
A bugle fitted with keys to increase the range of sounds it can produce.
A chord having a keynote as its root; = tonic chord.
A piece of wood tied to a key to prevent it from being easily lost.
The unique identifying code number given to a particular cut or design for a key.
Extremely cold; devoid of heat (sometimes with connotations of death). Compare stone-cold. In later use chiefly literary.
A white-tailed deer of the small subspecies Odocoileus virginianus clavium, confined to the Florida Keys and now endangered.
A case enclosing the keys and stops of an organ; = console.
(Especially in a hotel) a secure box in which keys can be deposited in the absence of a member of staff.
A field or set of fields in a database which constitutes a unique identifier for a record.
A thin flat file for filing incisions in keys; a warding file.
A lock operated by a key, rather than a bolt or other device.
A person who makes a key or keys.
The first move in the solution of a problem; = sense A. 7.
A telephone operated by means of buttons on a keypad rather than a dial; (now) specifically one of several such phones forming an interconnected system in a business, etc.; = key telephone; frequently attributive, especially in key phone system.
A flat piece of metal surrounding or covering a keyhole; a keyhole escutcheon.
A key used for gripping and turning screws; (also) a screw that can be turned by means of a separate key, or by an integral key-like head.
(On a piano, organ, or similar instrument) the part of the key which lies behind the key pin.
The fruit of a maple.
A key forming part of the Morse telegraph apparatus, which is pressed and released to send signals in Morse code.
Each of the keys on a piano keyboard, which produce a note when pressed.
A key with a hollow barrel which fits over a pin in a lock.