key·​note | \ ˈkē-ˌnōt How to pronounce keynote (audio) \

Definition of keynote

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the fundamental or central fact, idea, or mood sadness is the keynote of this little collectionBooks Abroad One keynote of his mind has been his interest in deceit, his perceptions about the use of flimflam in modern life …— Stanley Kauffmann
2 music : the first and harmonically fundamental tone of a scale
3 : keynote address Following Tuesday morning's keynote, sessions progress through all areas.— Jim Rosenberg Sprinting from workshops to motivational keynotes featuring famous faces and wannabes, I came away inspired and armed with information …— Peggy Klaus


keynoted; keynoting; keynotes

Definition of keynote (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to deliver the keynote address at
2 : to set the keynote of

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Other Words from keynote


keynoter noun

Examples of keynote in a Sentence

Noun Humor is the keynote of the play. the need for a greater sense of self-reliance is the keynote of his self-help message
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Passkeys in iCloud Keychain aren’t ready for mass consumption, and that’s why they weren’t detailed during the WWDC 2021 keynote. Chris Smith, BGR, 12 June 2021 On Monday, Apple kicked off its Worldwide Developers Conference with a virtual keynote detailing the changes coming soon to iOS 15, the mobile operating system powering the tech giant's signature smartphone. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, 8 June 2021 Taylor and Phillips described this shift as Microsoft’s vision for Dynamics365 during the keynote. Maribel Lopez, Forbes, 10 May 2021 Anyone with access to a developer account can install iOS 15 beta 1 on his or her iPhone right now and try out some of the brand new features that Apple introduced during the main WWDC 2021 keynote on Monday. Chris Smith, BGR, 8 June 2021 During the keynote Monday, Apple announced several new controls for users. Rishi Iyengar, CNN, 8 June 2021 Although the new FaceTime features replicate remote work tools, Apple vice president for software engineering Craig Federighi positioned FaceTime as a purely social tool during the keynote. Nicolás Rivero, Quartz, 7 June 2021 Festivities kick off on Monday April 12 at 11:30am EDT with CEO Jensen Huang’s keynote where all the big product and technology announcements happen. Sam Abuelsamid, Forbes, 6 Apr. 2021 Apple hosted a separate virtual keynote in mid-October. Chris Smith, BGR, 30 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Polk County, Iowa GOP announced that Scott will keynote their Lincoln Dinner on July 31. Paul Steinhauser, Fox News, 4 July 2021 Eventually, Brown was called back to the beauty industry, traveling to India to keynote the country's first makeup show and then being asked by Masterclass to be an expert and teach makeup. Amena Saad, Fortune, 25 June 2021 Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany will keynote the Center for Christian Virtue’s Cincinnati and Columbus galas this year. cleveland, 18 Mar. 2021 Next month, Pence will keynote a dinner hosted by the Palmetto Family Council, a Pence aide told The Associated Press on Sunday. Meg Kinnard, Star Tribune, 8 Mar. 2021 Next month, Pence will keynote a dinner hosted by the Palmetto Family Council, a Pence aide told The Associated Press on Sunday. Meg Kinnard, USA TODAY, 8 Mar. 2021 Reverend Al Sharpton is planning to keynote a Juneteenth rally in downtown Tulsa on the eve of Mr. Trump's event, CBS News correspondent Nikole Killion reports. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, 16 June 2020 Last month Sununu attended Trump’s event in Manchester and invited Vice President Mike Pence to the state to keynote a major fund-raiser for his own reelection. James Pindell,, 17 Apr. 2018 Another Fox contributor, Tomi Lahren, keynoted the event in 2018. Paul Farhi, Washington Post, 3 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'keynote.' 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 keynote


1677, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1877, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for keynote

Time Traveler

The first known use of keynote was in 1677

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Dictionary Entries Near keynote



keynote address

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Last Updated

31 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Keynote.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for keynote



English Language Learners Definition of keynote

: the most important idea or part of something


key·​note | \ ˈkē-ˌnōt How to pronounce keynote (audio) \

Kids Definition of keynote

1 : the first tone of a scale fundamental to harmony
2 : the fundamental fact, idea, or mood

More from Merriam-Webster on keynote

Nglish: Translation of keynote for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about keynote


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