• 3 Fished and keyed
    3 Fished and keyed
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj key serving as an essential component "a cardinal rule","the central cause of the problem","an example that was fundamental to the argument","computers are fundamental to modern industrial structure"
    • v key harmonize with or adjust to "key one's actions to the voters' prevailing attitude"
    • v key regulate the musical pitch of
    • v key identify as in botany or biology, for example
    • v key vandalize a car by scratching the sides with a key "His new Mercedes was keyed last night in the parking lot"
    • v key provide with a key "We were keyed after the locks were changed in the building"
    • n key metal device shaped in such a way that when it is inserted into the appropriate lock the lock's mechanism can be rotated
    • n key a lever (as in a keyboard) that actuates a mechanism when depressed
    • n key the central building block at the top of an arch or vault
    • n key mechanical device used to wind another device that is driven by a spring (as a clock)
    • n key pitch of the voice "he spoke in a low key"
    • n key something crucial for explaining "the key to development is economic integration"
    • n key 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 key a list of words or phrases that explain symbols or abbreviations
    • n key a list of answers to a test "some students had stolen the key to the final exam"
    • n key any of 24 major or minor diatonic scales that provide the tonal framework for a piece of music
    • n key (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","he dominates play in the paint"
    • n key a coral reef off the southern coast of Florida
    • n Key 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 key a winged often one-seed indehiscent fruit as of the ash or elm or maple
    • n key a kilogram of a narcotic drug "they were carrying two keys of heroin"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

39 Keyed mortise and tenon 39 Keyed mortise and tenon
Keyed Mortise-and-Tenon Joint Keyed Mortise-and-Tenon Joint
Showing key and leaf patterns Showing key and leaf patterns
Showing central figures with floral design, the whole surrounded by a repeating key pattern Showing central figures with floral design, the whole surrounded by a repeating key pattern
Bleubeard gives key to wife Bleubeard gives key to wife
The majority of the locks and keys used in the early houses were imported from England The majority of the locks and keys used in the early houses were imported from England
Double Lever Key Double Lever Key

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The pound key (#) on the keyboard is called an octothorpe
    • Key (Mach) A bar, pin or wedge, to secure a crank, pulley, coupling, etc., upon a shaft, and prevent relative turning; sometimes holding by friction alone, but more frequently by its resistance to shearing, being usually embedded partly in the shaft and partly in the crank, pulley, etc.
    • Key (Mus) A family of tones whose regular members are called diatonic tones, and named key tone (or tonic) or one (or eight), mediant or three, dominant or five, subdominant or four, submediant or six, supertonic or two, and subtonic or seven. Chromatic tones are temporary members of a key, under such names as “ sharp four,” “flat seven,” etc. Scales and tunes of every variety are made from the tones of a key.
    • Key (Masonry) A keystone.
    • Key (Teleg) A metallic lever by which the circuit of the sending or transmitting part of a station equipment may be easily and rapidly opened and closed; as, a telegraph key .
    • Key (Arch) A piece of wood used as a wedge.
    • Key A position or condition which affords entrance, control, pr possession, etc.; as, the key of a line of defense; the key of a country; the key of a political situation. "Those who are accustomed to reason have got the true key of books.""Who keeps the keys of all the creeds."
    • Key (Biol) A simplified version or analysis which accompanies something as a clue to its explanation, a book or table containing the solutions to problems, ciphers, allegories, or the like;
    • Key A small device which is inserted into a mechanism and turned like a key to fasten, adjust, or wind it; as, a watch key; a bed key; the winding key for a clock, etc.
    • Key (Mach) A wedge to unite two or more pieces, or adjust their relative position; a cotter; a forelock.
    • Key (Computers) A word or other combination of symbols which serves as an index identifying and pointing to a particular record, file, or location which can be retrieved and displayed by a computer program; as, a database using multi-word keys . When the key is a word, it is also called a keyword.
    • Key (Bot) An indehiscent, one-seeded fruit furnished with a wing, as the fruit of the ash and maple; a samara; -- called also key fruit.
    • Key An instrument by means of which the bolt of a lock is shot or drawn; usually, a removable metal instrument fitted to the mechanism of a particular lock and operated by turning in its place.
    • Key any device for closing or opening an electric circuit, especially as part of a keyboard, as that used at a computer terminal or teletype terminal.
    • Key Fig: The general pitch or tone of a sentence or utterance. "You fall at once into a lower key ."
    • Key One of a set of small movable parts on an instrument or machine which, by being depressed, serves as the means of operating it; the complete set of keys is usually called the keyboard; as, the keys of a piano, an organ, an accordion, a computer keyboard, or of a typewriter. The keys may operate parts of the instrument by a mechanical action, as on a piano, or by closing an electrical circuit, as on a computer keyboard. See also senses 12 and 13.
    • Key That part of a mechanism which serves to lock up, make fast, or adjust to position.
    • Key (Masonry) That part of the plastering which is forced through between the laths and holds the rest in place.
    • Key (Mus) The fundamental tone of a movement to which its modulations are referred, and with which it generally begins and ends; keynote.
    • Key (Arch) The last board of a floor when laid down.
    • Key To adjust so as to be maximally effective in a particular situation; -- of actions, plans, or speech; as, to key one's campaign speech to each local audience.
    • Key (Computers) To enter (text, data) using keys, especially those on a keyboard; to keyboard; as, to key the data in by hand.
    • Key To fasten or secure firmly; to fasten or tighten with keys or wedges.
    • Key To furnish with a key or keys.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: In 1980, Saddam Hussein received a key to the city of Detroit
    • n key An instrument for fastening or opening a lock, fitted to its wards, and adapted, on being inserted and turned or pushed in the keyhole, to push a bolt one way or the other, or to raise a catch or latch; in certain complicated locks, a portable appliance which on being inserted in the proper place in the lock lifts tumblers or in some other way allows the bolt to be shot without itself exercising force upon it.
    • n key Hence Something regarded as analogous to a key, in being a means of opening or making clear what is closed or obscure; especially, that by means of which (often by means of which alone) some difficulty can be overcome, some obstacle removed, some end attained, something unintelligible explained, etc: as, the key to knowledge; Gibraltar is the key to the Mediterranean; a key to the solution of an algebraic problem; a key to an algebra or arithmetic (a book giving the solution of mathematical problems proposed as exercises in such text-books); the key to a cipher.
    • n key In mech.: A hand-tool for controlling a valve, moving a nut, etc., which is independent of the part to be moved. In this sense a spanner, wrenc'h, bedstead-wrench, etc., are keys.
    • n key Any device for wedging up or locking together different parts, or for jamming or binding them to prevent vibration or slipping. Such are: the wedge or cotter driven between the hub of a wheel and its shaft to bind the two together; a wedge in a chain to prevent slipping; a wedge put in a split tenon to cause it to spread when driven into a mortise.
    • n key A bolt which secures the cap-square to the cheek of a gun-carriage. See cut under guncarriage.
    • n key In masonry, the central stone of an arch or vault, usually the uppermost stone; the keystone (although in a true arch no one of the voussoirs is more important to the stability of the structure than any other). See cut under arch, In carpentry: A piece inserted in the back of a board to prevent warping. The last board in a series of floor-boards, tapering in shape, and serving when driven home to hold the others in place. The roughing on the under side of a veneer, designed to assist it in holding the glue.
    • n key In bookbinding, one of a series of small tools used by the sewer of a book to keep the bands in place when the sections of the book are in a sewing-bench. They are made of metal or hard wood, shaped like a yoke, or the letter U, and of the size 1 by 3 inches.
    • n key A joint to assist in supporting a train of rods and the tools in a tube-well.
    • n key A wrench or lever for tuning stringed instruments of fixed intonation, like the pianoforte and the harp; a tuning-wrench or tuning-hammer. It consists of a metal head hollowed so as to fit closely over the tuning-pins, and a handle, usually long enough to give considerable leverage.
    • n key The surplus mortar or plaster that passes between the laths, and serves to hold the plastering in position.
    • n key A hollow cut in the back of a tile or terra-cotta ornament, or on a wall, to hold mortar or cement.
    • n key In musical instruments: In instruments especially of the wood wind group, a lever and valve operated by the player's finger, and designed either to open or to close a hole or vent in the side of the tube, so as to alter the pitch of the tone by altering the length of the vibrating air-column within. While in the simpler varieties of the flute, the oboe, the clarinet, etc., such holes are controlled by the fingers directly, in more complex varieties the number of holes is so great, and their position and size are so inconvenient, that this supplementary mechanism is a necessity. A complete system of keys was first elaborated for the flute by Theobald Boehm in 1832, and has since been applied to the oboe, the clarinet, and to some extent to the bssoon, with a decided gain in ease of manipulation, length and fullness of compass, and sonorousness of tone. Partial systems of keys are also found in the English horn, the basset-horn, etc. Holes and keys have been used in various brass wind-instruments, notably in the bugle and the saxophone, though as a rule they are less used than valves. (See valve.) See cuts under flute, clarinet, oboe, etc.
    • n key In instruments with a keyboard, like the organ and the pianoforte, one of the levers which are depressed in the act of playing. When operated by the finger, it is more exactly termed a digital or (rarely) a manual; when operated by the foot, a pedal. In the pianoforte each key or digital is connected with a series of levers, by which a hammer may be thrown against the string or strings belonging to that key, at the same time lifting from the strings the damper that prevents their vibration. When the key is released, the damper falls and stops the vibration. The duration, the force, and to some extent the quality of the tone depend upon the way in which the finger depresses the key. (See touch.) In the harpsichord each key, with its levers, slips a leather or quill plectrum past the string, so as to snap or twang it. In the clavichord each key pressesa metal tangent against the string, so as to drive it into vibration. In chimes of bells rung from a keyboard, each key throws a hammer against one of the bells. In the pipe-organ each key, whether a digital or a pedal, is connected with a series of levers, by which a valve is opened to admit the compressed air from the bellows into a particular groove or channel, over which stand all the pipes belonging to that key. The number of pipes actually sounded depends upon the number of stops drawn. (See cut under organ.) In the harmonium and reed-organ each key, with its levers, opens a valve, by which either an outward or an inward current of air is set up through the groove or channel with which are connected all the reeds belonging to that key. The number of reeds sounded depends upon the number of stops drawn. (See cut under reed-organ.) Keys in this sense are also (unfortunately) called notes. They are arranged according to an arbitrary plan,somebeing colored white and some black, and they are named by letters, etc., for which see keyboard.
    • n key A part pressed by the finger to control the action of a typewriter or other similar machine, in the manner of a musical keyed instrument.
    • n key Any one of the various forms of circuitcloser used in electrical experiments and in the practical applications of electricity. See telegraph.
    • n key In music: In musical theory, the sum of relations, melodic and harmonic, which exist between the tones of an ideal scale, major or minor, and in which its unity and Individuality are contained; tonality. Thus, a proper sense of these relations is called a proper sense of key, and a due observance of them puts a performance in key. For the difference between major and minor keys in this sense, see mode.
    • n key In musical theory and notation, the tonality centering in a given tone, or the several tones taken collectively, of a given scale, major or minor. The given tone, or the first tone of the given scale, is called the key-note, keytone, or tonic; and the key is named by the name of this tone. A scale is simply an arrangement of the tones of a key in their melodic order. In modern music, and in vocal music generally, all major keys are intended to be precisely similar to one another, except in pitch, and all minor keys likewise similar to one another. But in the systems of tuning instruments of fixed intonation before the middle of the eighteenth century, certain keys were favored and others slighted; so that some keys were very useful, and some practically useless. It is said that this difference, which was originally incidental to the imperfect plan of the keyboard, and which was to have been obliterated by the introduction of the equal temperament, is to some extent unavoidable, certain keys having a peculiar quality per se; but these differences appear, on close analysis, to be relative or accidental rather than essential. (See temperament.) The keyboard of the organ and the pianoforte, however, is so planned as to make a decided mechanical difference between keys or scales based on different digitals. For example, the major key or scale of the digital culled C requires the use of only white digitals, or naturals; hence it is called (unfortunately) the natural key. Other keys or scales require the use of one or more black digitals, which are called either sharps or flats; hence they are called the keys of one, two, three, or more sharps or flats, as the case may be. The keys of one or more sharps are called collectively the sharp keys; those of one or more flats, the flat keys. Practically, keys of more than six sharps or flats are rarely mentioned. (See circle of keys, under circle.) When these keys are represented by the staff-notation, the black digitals are indicated by marks ♮ or ♭ prefixed to certain of the notes. But since the key in which a piece is to be performed is the same either throughout, or at least for extended passages, these sharps or flats are customarily grouped into a key-signature at the begiuning of the piece or passage, and the effect of this signature is understood to continue until contradicted by further signs: thus—
    • n key (The crosses mark the degree belonging to the key-note.) The sharps and the flats in such signatures are counted from left to right; in sharp signatures the position of the key-note is always one degree above the last sharp, while in flat signatures it is always on the same degree with the last flat but one. This provides a rule for finding the keynote from each signature except those of the keys of C and of F. The key-notes of the sharp keys, taken in direct order, are distant from one another either by a fifth upward or a fourth downward, as are the key-notes of the fiat keys, taken in inverse order. These signatures are also used for minor keys, the key-notes of such keys being iu each case two degrees below the key-notes as given for major keys. The major and minor keys that use the same signature are termed relatives of each other. See relative. (See circle of keys, under circle.) The entire system of keys as described above is conditioned upon the keyboard of the organ and the pianoforte, and therefore is essentially arbitrary. It has no basis in the phenomena of sound or the necessities of music as an art. Its complexity is due historically to the iuadequate medieval theory of music, and secondarily to the arbitrary instrumental mechanism and the notation that grew out of that theory. Of the many attempts to improve or replace the system, the tonic sol-fa notation has been the most successful. See notation, and tonic sol-fa (under tonic).
    • n key In musical notation, a sign at the head of a staff indicating the key as above defined.
    • n key Scale of intensity; degree of force; pitch; elevation.
    • n key A dry winged fruit like that of maple, ash, elm, etc.; a samara. See cut under Acer.
    • n key A rudder; a helm.
    • n key A key (tonality) which on the keyboard involves the use of one or more black or chromatic keys (digitals), and on the staff necessitates a signature of one or more sharps or flats.
    • n key The major key (tonality) of C: so called because on the keyboard it involves the use of only white digitals, or naturals.
    • key To fasten with a key, or with a wedge-shaped piece of wood or metal; fasten or secure firmly.
    • key To regulate the tone of by the use of a key, or to set to a key or pitch in any way, as a musical instrument: as, to key up a violin.
    • n key A wharf. See quay.
    • n key A low island near the coast: used especially on the coasts of regions where Spanish is or formerly was spoken: as, the Florida keys.
    • n key See Keys.
    • n key In printing, the circular ratchet that closes or uncloses patent, quoins of iron.
    • n key A wooden pin for fastening hides together while they are being limed.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Houseflies hum in the key of F.
    • n Key an instrument for shutting or opening a lock: that by which something is screwed or turned: the middle stone of an arch: a piece of wood let into another piece crosswise to prevent warping:
    • n Key (Dryden) Same as Quay.
    • n Key a low island near the coast
    • Key Also Cay
    • n Key (mus.) one of the small levers in musical instruments for producing notes: the fundamental note of a piece of music: that which explains a mystery: a book containing answers to exercises, &c
    • ***


  • Richard Henry Stoddard
    Richard Henry Stoddard
    “Children are the keys of paradise.”
  • Thomas Fuller
    “Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it.”
  • Proverb
    “Sloth is the key to poverty.”
  • Martina Navratilova
    Martina Navratilova
    “I think the key is for women not to set any limits.”
  • Turkish Proverb
    Turkish Proverb
    “Patience is the key to paradise.”
  • Anthony Robbins
    “Questions provide the key to unlocking our unlimited potential.”


Under lock and key - If something is under lock and key, it is stored very securely.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. keye, key, kay, AS. cæg,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. cæg, a key.


In literature:

Running back to the operating room he seized the key and once more sought to attract the attention of the despatcher.
"The Young Railroaders" by Francis Lovell Coombs
Instead of pulling the bell, Mr. Smith drew a latch-key from his pocket, and admitted himself.
"Rufus and Rose" by Horatio Alger, Jr
He opened a cupboard in the wall and took down a bunch of keys.
"A Son of Hagar" by Sir Hall Caine
He asked her for the key of the schoolroom.
"The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde
Among the lawyers were Philip Barton Key and Joseph Earle.
"A Portrait of Old George Town" by Grace Dunlop Ecker
Once learned in one key, it should be very familiar in the next key.
"Great Pianists on Piano Playing" by James Francis Cooke
Somebody sends a key in an envelope, and a row of incomprehensible figures rolled up inside the key.
"The Red Triangle" by Arthur Morrison
The yard gate was locked, of which John had the key.
"Alonzo and Melissa" by Daniel Jackson, Jr.
The door was unbolted and unchained, and the only security was the latch-key lock.
"The Big Bow Mystery" by I. Zangwill
A dot is made by pressing the key down, and raising it at once; that is, the key is raised as soon as it strikes.
"How Two Boys Made Their Own Electrical Apparatus" by Thomas M. (Thomas Matthew) St. John

In poetry:

Yet can I mark how starres above
Simper and shine,
As having keyes unto thy love,
While poore I pine.
"The Search" by George Herbert
“The proper way for a man to pray”
said Deacon Lemuel Keyes,
“and the only proper attitude
is down upon his knees.”
"An Informal Prayer -- The Prayer Of Cyrus Brown" by Sam Walter Foss
You are a simulacrum
Of what I believe you to be
And what is needed
But you are something
Other than this
You answer off-key.
"Adumbration" by Norman MacLeod
No matter," said the winning voice, "
You'll open it for me." "
I cannot, madam," said my heart, "
I've thrown away the key."
"The Lost Key" by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay
What! will no rival-singer yield
He has a match upon the field?
"Come, then, and let us all agree
To praise upon the highest key."
"The Believer's Principles : Chap. V." by Ralph Erskine
He struck the key of monopoly,
And sang of her swift decay,
And traveled the track of the railway back
With a blithesome roundelay--
"Job Work" by James Whitcomb Riley

In news:

View full size Averette/Wikipedia A Key deer (an endangered species) on No Name Key in the Florida Keys.
The use of the words " Conch Republic" has erupted into a court case pitting a Key Largo nonprofit business group against a Key West entrepreneur.
It's a pristine spring morning on the remote tip of Big Pine Key, 30 miles north of Key West.
KEY WEST — A Key West resident who police say was distraught over the presidential election results and worried about his business has apparently killed himself.
DRIFTWOOD KEY — Even though there was an overwhelming response to its latest ballot issue on membership dues, Driftwood Key residents voted to pass it by a very narrow margin — 207 to 189.
About 26 years ago, Heath Davis of Cedar Key remembers going to his first Christmas party as a 4-year-old child with a savings account at Drummond Community Bank in Cedar Key.
We were informed that those Chrysler keys needed to be programed and were not just some old key you could buy at any ole hardware store.
A key brain chemical could hold the key to treating anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Transit authority locksmiths primarily establish and maintain master key systems while issuing keys and keeping related records.
Eating a piece of Pincher's Key lime pie is something like eating a Key-lime scented cloud.
You can't visit the Florida Keys without trying key lime pie.
Sweet and tart, smooth and creamy, the decades-old recipe for this Key Lime Pie calls for real key lime juice and a rich graham cracker crust.
Take in a key-lime -flavored double feature at Aruba Beach Café: The key lime pie martini ($8.50) is a smooth, decadent cocktail for folks who like their desserts in liquid form, created to match a late-afternoon mood.
The owner of a key ring with a very large set of keys is being sought.
Powerboat racers Marc Granet and Scott Begovich piloted Miss Geico to a Turbine class world title Sunday, Nov 9, at the Key West World Championship off the Florida Keys.

In science:

Denote the key space by K , and assume that the size of the key space is exponential in log n.
Guaranteeing the diversity of number generators
If we have no such generator available, we can use the oracle P itself: In addition to the key k used to generate Pk , we need another key ˜k .
Permutation graphs, fast forward permutations, and sampling the cycle structure of a permutation
We have given an effective quantum key distribution protocol,if the two legitimate partities shared much enough entangled pairs before the random key distribution, then there is no particle to be transported.
A random quantum key distribution by using Bell states
She then performs a three-outcome POVM (unambiguous key distribution) to identify the key bit.
Phase randomization improves the security of quantum key distribution
Thus, standard cryptography includes usual mathematical private-key (and also public-key) cryptography but excludes quantum cryptography and classical-noise cryptography .
Quantum Noise Randomized Ciphers