Meaning of “key” - Learner’s Dictionary


noun [ C ] us uk /kiː/
Extra Examples
I heard someone turn a key in the lock.It's a good idea to keep a spare key somewhere safe.Have you got a key to the house?He had lost his front-door key.I need to get some more keys cut.

A1 a piece of metal cut into a particular shape and used for locking things such as doors, or for starting an engine:

I've lost my car keys.

B1 a way of explaining or achieving something:

Hard work is the key to success.

B2 one of the parts you press with your fingers on a keyboard or musical instrument to produce letters, numbers, or to make a sound


a set of musical notes based on one particular note:

the key of D major

a list that explains the symbols on a map or picture


A2 a list of answers to an exercise or game

→ See also under lock and key

(Definition of “key noun” from the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)