key

key
I. key key 1 [kiː] noun [countable] COMPUTING
1. a part of a computer with a letter, number etc on it that you press with your fingers to make it work:

• Press any key to continue.

ˈalt key COMPUTING
a key that is used together with other keys to give commands, obtain special characters etc:

• Many commands require the Ctrl, Shift, or Alt keys to be held down while another key is tapped.

ˈarrow key COMPUTING
another name for scroll key
conˈtrol key written abbreviation ctl-key COMPUTING
a key that is used together with other keys to give commands, obtain special characters etc:

• The control key must be held down while the R or W key on the keyboard is pressed.

esˈcape key written abbreviation Esc-key
COMPUTING a key that you press in order to stop a program or operation from continuing
ˈhot key COMPUTING
one or more computer keys that have been programmed to make your computer do a particular thing when you press them:

• Use the mouse or a hot key to move to a different window.

ˈscroll key COMPUTING
a key on a computer, mobile phone etc that you use to move from one line to another on the screen
ˈshift key COMPUTING
the key that is held down while pressing another key in order to obtain a capital letter
2. a/​the key to something the part of a plan, arrangement etc that is the most important and which everything else depends on:

• The key to customer satisfaction is quick access to those best placed to resolve issues quickly.

• If managers are free to concentrate on the core business, this could be a key to economic success in the difficult times ahead.

  [m0] II. key key 2 adjective
1. very important or necessary:

• the impact of foreign investment on key industries

• The key elements of Japanese management methods can be applied to Western organisations.

• A key factor in these companies' success is knowing their customers' preferences.

key to

• Technical alliances between companies are key to putting pressure on other cable competitors.

2. COMMERCE key actor/​player/​mover a person or company that is very important and influential:

• The key players involved in the change must be identified and their commitment to the change obtained.

• Employers are key actors within industrial relations.

  [m0] III. key key 3 verb
FINANCE be keyed to something if the level, price, value etc of something is keyed to something else, it is related to it and rises and falls with it:

• In many cases, brokers' commissions are keyed to share prices.

• The agreement requires banks to hold a certain amount of capital, keyed to the riskiness of loans.

key something → in phrasal verb [transitive] COMPUTING
to put information into a computer or other machine, using a keyboard or keypad:

• They keyed in the text.

* * *

Ⅰ.
key UK US /kiː/ noun [C]
IT any of the set of moving parts that you press with your fingers on a computer, etc. to produce letters, numbers, or symbols: »

Press any key to continue.

GRAPHS & CHARTS a list of the symbols used in a map, chart, or book with explanations of what they mean: »

For an explanation of these symbols, see key below.

the key (to sth) — Cf. the key to sth
See also ALT KEY(Cf. ↑Alt key), ARROW KEY(Cf. ↑arrow key), CONTROL KEY(Cf. ↑control key), ESCAPE(Cf. ↑escape), HOT KEY(Cf. ↑hot key), SCROLL KEY(Cf. ↑scroll key), SHIFT KEY(Cf. ↑shift key)
Ⅱ.
key UK US /kiː/ adjective
very important and having a lot of influence on people or things: »

The control of inflation is a key component of the government's economic policy.

»

a key factor

key to sth »

Education is key to the country's success.

»

Getting the budget right is absolutely key.

Ⅲ.
key UK US /kiː/ verb [I or T]
IT to put information into a computer or a machine using a keyboard, or to spend time doing this work: »

All the data will then need to be keyed.

»

She spends most of her time keying.

Compare KEYBOARD(Cf. ↑keyboard) verb

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Key — (k[=e]), n. [OE. keye, key, kay, AS. c[ae]g.] 1. 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. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • KEY — ist das englische Wort für Schlüssel, und damit Bestandteil von Anglizismen: Key Account Key Account Manager etc. Key steht im Sinne von Cay für eine kleine flache Insel: insbesondere die Florida Keys, Inselkette im US Bundesstaat Florida, USA:… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Key — may refer to: Building* Key, Carpentry: timber or metal wedges used across or between two or more members to act as a tightening agent. * Key, Painting: to rough the surface of previous coats of paint to allow a secure bond for the next or top… …   Wikipedia

  • Key — ist das englische Wort für Schlüssel, und damit Bestandteil von Anglizismen: Key Account Key Account Manager etc. Key steht im Sinne von Cay für eine kleine flache Insel: insbesondere die Florida Keys, Inselkette im US Bundesstaat Florida, USA:… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • KeY — is a formal software development tool that aims to integrate design, implementation, formal specification, and formal verification of object oriented software. It supports programs written in Java (more precisely: in a superset of Java Card) and… …   Wikipedia

  • key — key1 [kē] n. pl. keys [ME keye < OE cæge, akin to OFris kei, kēia, to secure, guard] 1. an instrument, usually of metal, for moving the bolt of a lock and thus locking or unlocking something 2. any of several instruments or mechanical devices… …   English World dictionary

  • key to — ˈkey to [transitive] usually passive [present tense I/you/we/they key to he/she/it keys to present participle keying to past tense keyed to …   Useful english dictionary

  • Key — Key, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Keved}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Keying}.] 1. To fasten or secure firmly; to fasten or tighten with keys or wedges. Francis. [1913 Webster] 2. (Computers) To enter (text, data) using keys, especially those on a keyboard; to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • key — adj: of vital importance (as in a business organization) esp. so as to be specially insured to the benefit of an employer key man key employee insurance Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • key — Ⅰ. key [1] ► NOUN (pl. keys) 1) a small piece of shaped metal which is inserted into a lock and rotated to open or close it. 2) an instrument for grasping and turning a screw, peg, or nut. 3) a lever depressed by the finger in playing an… …   English terms dictionary

  • key — key, a. Essential; most important; as, the key fact in the inquiry; the president was the key player inthe negotiations. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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