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

The keyboard reliability and throttling issues that plagued earlier iterations of the device have largely been ironed out. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The Ars Holiday Gift Guide 2018—good tech for the power user in your life," 4 Dec. 2018 But one of Miguel’s biggest critics isn't behind a keyboard. Eileen Reslen, Country Living, "'This Is Us' Star Jon Huertas Explains Why Kevin Pearson Hates Miguel So Much," 24 Oct. 2018 The history of the keyboard default involves a gaming legend and the start of a new era in games. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "Vox Sentences: The Catholic sex abuse reckoning continues in Pennsylvania," 19 Oct. 2018 At the beginning, the transition from the Warner Brothers logo on the screen to the computer—with the ferociously-typing keyboard noises, the beeps and boops of the computer—was so charming. Danielle Mcnally, Marie Claire, "We Showed 'You've Got Mail' to Our Gen-Z Coworkers and Now Feel Very Old," 1 Aug. 2018 Meanwhile, her younger brother Marty was on guitar and Martina, of course, was on vocals and keyboards, according to People. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "8 Fascinating Things About 'America's Got Talent' Guest Judge Martina McBride," 31 July 2018 Born in the bedroom of frontman Dan Whitford, Cut/Copy was originally a one-man act, consisting of track samples and keyboards. Yoshina Okamoto, Anchorage Daily News, "Grammy-nominated electronic dance band headlines Solstice Brewfest in Denali," 21 June 2018 Image: Apple Apple also decided to ship the latest generation of its controversial butterfly keyboard on the new MacBook Air. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Apple’s new MacBook Air faces strong Windows and iPad competition," 4 Nov. 2018 Looking to upgrade your entire keyboard and mouse setup? Alexandria Haslam, PCWorld, "Upgrade your keyboard, mouse, and webcam for cheap in Amazon's Logitech blowout sale," 26 Sep. 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

11 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on keyboard

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with keyboard

Spanish Central: Translation of keyboard

Nglish: Translation of keyboard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of keyboard for Arabic Speakers

Comments on keyboard

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a nest or breeding place

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