Definition - key

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key
  1. metal device shaped in such a way that when it is inserted into the appropriate lock the lock's mechanism can be rotated
  2. a lever (as in a keyboard) that actuates a mechanism when depressed
  3. the central building block at the top of an arch or vault
  4. mechanical device used to wind another device that is driven by a spring (as a clock)
  5. pitch of the voice; "he spoke in a low key"
  6. something crucial for explaining; "the key to development is economic integration"
  7. harmonize with or adjust to; "key one's actions to the voters' prevailing attitude"
  8. 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"
  9. regulate the musical pitch of
  10. a list of words or phrases that explain symbols or abbreviations
  11. identify as in botany or biology, for example
  12. serving as an essential component; "a cardinal rule"; "the

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