key word


Definition of key word 

: a word that is a key: such as

a usually keyword \ˈkē-ˌwərd \ : a significant word from a title or document used especially as an index to content

b : a word exemplifying the meaning or value of a letter or symbol

Examples of key word in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

And while baklava in a variety of forms is the key word on the dessert list, various rich choices, including dark chocolate lava cake, range from $8-$11. Joan Cary, Aurora Beacon-News, "Guide to outdoor dining in Chicago suburbs: Basil’s Greek Dining in Aurora," 8 July 2018 The key words are doubt, movement, and synchronization. Grant Wahl,, "Masters of Modern Soccer: Chicharito and the Art of Mexico's Synchronization," 3 May 2018 The key words and subject line were always assigned. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Florida shooting aftermath shows a generation that’s more impressive than typically portrayed," 20 Feb. 2018 The key words being ‘up to,’ but voters were confused by the first ballot which was incorrect and asked for a 10-cent sales tax. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Low voter turnout for Uniform elections," 6 May 2018 The key word in the Declaration of Independence isn’t life, liberty or happiness, the writer Patricia Hampl has pointed out. Parul Sehgal, New York Times, "Barbara Ehrenreich Urges Us to Accept, Accept the Dying of the Light," 10 Apr. 2018 The key word for Friday afternoon in Aurora was heart. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora dedicates street in honor of long-time doctor, faith leader," 18 May 2018 There's a rumor (key word: rumor) that Lady Amelia Windsor, the 22-year-old granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II's cousin, the Duke of Kent, hasn't been invited to the ceremony or reception. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Lady Amelia Windsor, Prince Harry's Cousin, Reportedly Isn't Invited to the Royal Wedding," 14 May 2018 Anyone with information about Torres' whereabouts is asked to call police at 256-768-2768 or text a tip to 274637 using key word FPDTIP plus the message. Ashley Remkus,, "Have you seen him? Florence police searching for missing 27-year-old," 17 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'key word.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of key word

1762, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about key word

Dictionary Entries near key word

key valve


Key West

key word




Statistics for key word

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for key word

The first known use of key word was in 1762

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on key word

See words that rhyme with key word

Comments on key word

What made you want to look up key word? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!