key :

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.

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Definitions

  • 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
    the key to development is economic integration
  • n  pitch of the voice
    he spoke in a low key
  • 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
    they were carrying two keys of heroin
  • 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
    he hit a jump shot from the top of the key
  • n  a list of answers to a test
    some students had stolen the key to the final exam
  • 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
    a safe-deposit box usually requires two keys to open it
  • 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
    We were keyed after the locks were changed in the building
  • v  vandalize a car by scratching the sides with a key
    His new Mercedes was keyed last night in the parking lot
  • v  regulate the musical pitch of
  • v  harmonize with or adjust to
    key one's actions to the voters' prevailing attitude
  • s  serving as an essential component
News & Articles

  • Key employees of Byggmax subscribe for warrants
    SOLNA, Sweden--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Regulatory News: Key employees of Byggmax (STO:BMAX) have subscribed for 600,000 warrants as part of the recently resolved incentive program. The Annual General Meeting on May 15 resolved to implement an incentive program in Byggmax. In accordance with the proposal, a group of key employees, numbering 27, have the opportunity to purchase up to 828,000 warrants at ...
    June 12, 2013 - Business Wire
  • Key Evidence, Testimony Featured in Day Two of Weisheit Murder Trial
    Day two of the Jeffrey Weisheit capital murder trial features key evidence and key testimony from a star witness in the prosecution's case. Also, Eyewitness News learns a juror was dismissed and arrested shortly before the trial began.
    June 12, 2013 - FOX 7 WTVW Evansville
  • 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
    June 12, 2013 - Nasdaq