He's a key player in the organization.
The key question is “Can we afford it?”.
Underline key words and phrases as you read.
Their votes were key in getting the bill passed. Verb
The changes to the manuscript are being keyed by the typist.
her response was perfectly keyed to the situation See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Qatar and Egypt have played key roles in the negotiations.—Ken Thomas, WSJ, 23 Nov. 2023 For male actor in a leading role, true stories seem to be key.—Emily Longeretta, Variety, 22 Nov. 2023 Choosing a kit that’s safe, fun, and reflective of their interests is key.—Cheryl Fenton, Parents, 22 Nov. 2023 Assign Your Tasks Levels of Priority Making a set of priorities and layering those priorities are key.—Rolling Stone Culture Council, Rolling Stone, 22 Nov. 2023 Those hourly reports were a key metric for a congregation’s spiritual vitality and a factor in deciding who rose to leadership.—Peter Smith, Fortune, 22 Nov. 2023 Low pay has long been a key factor in the shortage of child care — a problem compounded by how little the state pays providers of subsidized care.—San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Nov. 2023 Whether that will change is a key concern for Johnson, who is already beginning to run out of time before the 2024 election chooses the next House.—Jacob Bogage, Washington Post, 21 Nov. 2023 Israel has said Hamas runs a key command center underneath the hospital, and Israeli troops inside Gaza City are now about one mile from the hospital complex, raising fears among Gazans that the hospital will be attacked and prompting an evacuation of the majority of people on Friday.—Chao Deng, WSJ, 11 Nov. 2023
It’s been written many times that fall is prime to upsize to bigger lures and flies because the fish are more keyed into big meals, but that’s not entirely accurate.—Joe Cermele, Field & Stream, 2 Nov. 2023 Bloys also keyed in on commenters on Deadline articles.—Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Nov. 2023 Parker’s offense is keyed by QB Malik Muhammad with A’mari Brundidge and Martavius Purnell handling the load at RB.—Dennis Victory, al, 29 Aug. 2023 The second-year pro helped set up Stafford’s third-quarter touchdown pass to Kupp, rushed for a fourth-quarter touchdown and keyed a field-goal drive before leaving the game because of an ankle injury.—Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times, 15 Oct. 2023 The customer keys in a digital order, a bowl shoots down and the ingredients are dispensed from above.—Laura Reiley, Washington Post, 3 Oct. 2023 The senior keyed a defense that allowed only four goals.—Steve Brand, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Oct. 2023 On their next possession, Williams’ 31-yard run keyed an 80-play drive that ended with another Brett Maher field goal for a 16-9 lead.—Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times, 15 Oct. 2023 Alabama sticks at No. 5 after an easy win against Middle Tennessee keyed by a very solid starting debut for quarterback Jalen Milroe.—Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, 5 Sep. 2023
The boys need their father’s keys, but don’t have time to fetch them.—Jennifer Ouellette and Sean M. Carroll, Ars Technica, 24 Nov. 2023 The key is developing effective methods of suppressing and correcting quantum errors, an area my own research is focused on.—Daniel Lidar, Discover Magazine, 23 Nov. 2023 Video shows Ricci dropping his keys and a to-go drink and, in seconds, pulling a handgun from his waist and shooting as the men ran away.—Salvador Hernandez, Los Angeles Times, 21 Nov. 2023 Most of our styles have several inner and outer pockets to keep stuff, D-rings to keep keys or AirPods cases and so on.—Laird Borrelli-Persson, Vogue, 21 Nov. 2023 But the key is using available technology and best practices to diagnose a specific patient, so that treatment can be determined.—Stanley Goldfarb, National Review, 21 Nov. 2023 The key is that AI needs to be developed and deployed so all businesses and workers can benefit from it.—Rhett Buttle, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 The key is that regulatory efforts build adaptive capacity, learning lessons from yesterday and today to help prepare us for tomorrow.—Paula Goldman, Foreign Affairs, 13 Nov. 2023 Chaudry tells Rolling Stone that the key is for creators to really connect with their viewers, in order to turn their content into a living.—Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 12 Nov. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'key.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Noun (1), Adjective, and Verb
Middle English, from Old English cǣg; akin to Old Frisian kēi key
Spanish cayo, from Taino
by shortening & alteration from kilo
First Known Use
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a