key : Common Errors in English

About key

“Deceptive marketing is key to their success as a company.” “Careful folding of the egg whites is key.” This very popular sort of use of “key” as an adjective by itself to mean “crucial” sets the teeth of some of us on edge. It derives from an older usage of “key” as a metaphorical noun: “The key to true happiness is an abundant supply of chocolate.” “Key” as an adjective modifying a noun is also traditional: “Key evidence in the case was mislaid by the police.”But adjectival “key” without a noun to modify it is not so traditional. If this sort of thing bothers you (as it does me), you’ll have to grit your teeth and sigh. It’s not going away.

key Meaning(s)

  • (n) metal device shaped in such a way that when it is inserted into the appropriate lock the lock's mechanism can be rotated
  • (n) something crucial for explaining
  • (n) pitch of the voice
  • (n) any of 24 major or minor diatonic scales that provide the tonal framework for a piece of music
  • (n) a kilogram of a narcotic drug
  • (n) a winged often one-seed indehiscent fruit as of the ash or elm or maple
  • (n) 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)
  • (n) a coral reef off the southern coast of Florida
  • (n) (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
  • (n) a list of answers to a test
  • (n) a list of words or phrases that explain symbols or abbreviations
  • (n) a generic term for any device whose possession entitles the holder to a means of access
  • (n) mechanical device used to wind another device that is driven by a spring (as a clock)
  • (n) the central building block at the top of an arch or vault
  • (n) a lever (as in a keyboard) that actuates a mechanism when depressed
  • (v) identify as in botany or biology, for example
  • (v) provide with a key
  • (v) vandalize a car by scratching the sides with a key
  • (v) regulate the musical pitch of
  • (v) harmonize with or adjust to
  • (s) serving as an essential component

key in News

  1. Key witness takes stand in Maurice Anthony trial

    Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A key witness pointed her finger at Maurice Anthony in Broome County Court Wednesday, identifying him as the killer of her 21-year-old cousin in 2010.
    on June 13, 2013 Source: WBNG Binghamton

  2. Key level held overnight in the Aussie dollar

    Key level held overnight in the Aussie dollar ( AUD ). Chart shows stab down lower early Tuesday which then held and we rallied early this morning in Sydney. Hearing record short
    on June 12, 2013 Source: Nasdaq

  3. Key West Hemingway Days to Celebrate Author's Legacy

    Key West hosts Hemingway Days to celebrate Ernest Hemingway's Key West legacy. Photo Credit: Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau
    on June 12, 2013 Source: NBC Miami

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