key·board | \ˈkē-ˌbȯrd \

Definition of keyboard 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a bank of keys on a musical instrument (such as a piano) that usually consists of seven white and five raised black keys to the octave

b : a musical instrument that is played by means of a keyboard

2 : a group of systematically arranged keys by which a machine or device is operated a computer keyboard

3 : a board on which keys for locks are hung


keyboarded; keyboarding; keyboards

Definition of keyboard (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to enter (data, text, etc.) by means of a keyboard keyboard a manuscript … he would like her to drop her copy off and have it keyboarded into the system by someone else.— Margaret Atwood

intransitive verb

: to operate a machine (as for typesetting) by means of a keyboard

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Other Words from keyboard


keyboarder noun

Examples of keyboard in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Apple has boosted its MacBook lineup with some better processing power and a new keyboard. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "Apple Boosts the MacBook Pro with Improved Performance," 12 July 2018 The band includes Paul Guzzone on bass, Joe Mennonna on keyboards and Frank Vilardi on drums. Chrissie Dickinson,, "The Bacon Brothers is a family thing in more ways than one," 5 July 2018 His doubling on keyboards and trumpet transformed the trio into something resembling a quartet. Bill Beuttler,, "A lot of love in the air as the TEN Trio grooves at Scullers," 1 July 2018 And Juan Carlos Chaurand and Andres Chaurand on percussion, on keyboards and drums. Chris Haghirian, kansascity, "June is for I Heart Local Music, plus John Butler Trio, the Middle Kids and more," 5 June 2018 With White on bass and Tommy Onyx on keyboards, Inner City hit club stages to re-create Saunderson’s carefully knitted studio sound. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Kevin Saunderson's Inner City rehearses for anniversary set," 24 May 2018 Rounding out the lineup are guitarists Illya Riske and Lukas Mathers with Zach Vogt on keyboards and Marquez on bass. Ed Masley, azcentral, "Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra fights for justice using music as 'the weapon of the future'," 13 Mar. 2018 The young genius at the keyboard was dazzling the audience with his mastery of music. Loren A. Yadon, idahostatesman, "Leaving the ‘stage of life’ to the applause of heaven," 12 July 2018 Renowned Lego artist Nathan Sawaya has gone from snapping bricks to clacking the keyboard. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, "Lego Artist Nathan Sawaya Launches Children's Book Series," 1 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The music series starts Sunday and runs through Oct. 14, featuring artists that range from trumpeter Bo Berry to keyboard player Gail Jhonson. Mary Colurso,, "Jazz in the Park 2018: Alabama concert series returns with 26 free shows," 7 Apr. 2018 Students need to learn printing, cursive and keyboarding to have all the tools for communication success. Erin Dolin, The Mercury News, "Opinion: Handwriting isn’t a useless drill, it’s an educational tool and a skill for life," 7 Mar. 2017 Understanding Online Job Applications Basic keyboarding skills required. Washington Post, "Montgomery County community calendar June 8-15, 2017," 8 June 2015

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

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First Known Use of keyboard


1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1906, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for keyboard

Last Updated

2 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for keyboard

The first known use of keyboard was in 1776

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More Definitions for keyboard



English Language Learners Definition of keyboard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a row or set of keys that are pushed to play a musical instrument (such as a piano)

: a musical instrument that is played by means of a keyboard like that of a piano and that produces sounds electronically

: the set of keys that are used for a computer or typewriter



English Language Learners Definition of keyboard (Entry 2 of 2)

: to enter (information) into a computer by using a keyboard


key·board | \ˈkē-ˌbȯrd \

Kids Definition of keyboard

1 : a row of keys by which a musical instrument (as a piano) is played

2 : a portable electronic musical instrument with a row of keys like that of a piano

3 : the whole arrangement of keys (as on a computer or typewriter)

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Comments on keyboard

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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