Definition of keyword in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈkiːwəːd/


1A word which acts as the key to a cipher or code.
2A word or concept of great significance: homes and jobs are the keywords in the campaign
More example sentences
  • The narrative text is quite brief but is well-written and liberally marked up with bold text to identify keywords and key concepts.
  • My style is to read the stuff, make a mental list of keywords to remind me of what to talk about, then wing it.
  • Secrecy was a keyword in their job, and Byron knew his partner assumed, from the terse explanation, that something unforeseen had happened.
2.1A word used in an information retrieval system to indicate the content of a document.
Example sentences
  • What's interesting about the idea of an anonymous e-mail search engine is that you could search on content keywords and probably get your mail without even remembering your account name.
  • The goal is to rapidly retrieve relevant information by applying Boolean logic to keywords and searching databases optimized for textual storage and retrieval.
  • Filtering systems generally search for keywords on web pages or e-mails, examine images to identify human skin tones, and monitor domain names and server addresses to screen out those considered unsavoury.
2.2A significant word mentioned in an index: keywords entered by the indexer
More example sentences
  • There were 982 peer reviewed papers indexed by ISI with keywords climate change in the last ten years, till 2003.
  • To look up something you wanted, you had to search for the keyword in the index volumes, go to the Micropaedia for a summary of the entries, decide on the ones that seem to have the answers, and then read the relevant volumes of the Macropaedia.
  • Most essays are followed by a short bibliography, and there is a seven-page keyword and person index.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: key|word

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.