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
2 : the first and harmonically fundamental tone of a scale


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


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

Accompanied by 15 active and former Patriot players, Kraft will deliver the keynote speech at a lavish ceremony Thursday night hosted by comic Martin Short. Aron Heller, Houston Chronicle, "Israel honors Patriots owner Robert Kraft amid solicitation case," 20 June 2019 The event featured a keynote speech by Beth Sunshine, a partner and vice president of talent services at the Center for Sales Strategy. Jordyn Grzelewski,, "2019 Top Workplaces winners announced during Plain Dealer event," 13 June 2019 In addition to collecting the $1 million award, he is scheduled to have lunch with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and deliver the keynote speech at a lavish ceremony hosted by comic Martin Short. Josef Federman, Washington Post, "Correction: Israel-Patriots Owner story," 13 June 2019 In addition to collecting the $1 million award, he is scheduled to have lunch with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and deliver the keynote speech at a lavish ceremony hosted by comic Martin Short. Josef Federman,, "Patriots’ Robert Kraft to receive warm welcome in Israel," 12 June 2019 Further Reading The WWDC Liveblog: All the OS details from Apple’s annual keynoteFor the past several years, Apple has sold specialized displays from LG through its store to users who want a display that will play nice with Macs. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Apple unveils the Pro Display XDR, a display unlike anything else on the market," 3 June 2019 This keynote also marks a milestone for iOS devices, with the company about to ship the 2 billionth (yes, with a B) iOS device. Hanna Howard, Teen Vogue, "Apple Event 2018 Live Blog: iPhone Updates, Announcements, and More," 12 Sep. 2018 Intel has tried to reposition itself multiple times at CES in recent years with flashy keynotes, but the efforts have been unconvincing and lacked focus. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Intel now faces a fight for its future," 22 June 2018 During a keynote at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), Apple took the wraps off several new products, including updates to its various operating systems. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "Apple WWDC: Apple unveils Memoji, new privacy features as part of iOS 12," 4 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Although Apple’s WWDC keynotes historically focus on software, hardware played a major role this year, thanks to the Apple Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "Apple's Week Was Dominated by WWDC, Regulators, and a Mac Surprise," 8 June 2019 The event will also be at the Town & Country Convention Center in Mission Valley and Lunden’s keynote presentation will be webcast in Escondido. Linda Mcintosh,, "Volunteers glean fruit to donate to food banks," 25 June 2018 Friday's QuakeCon keynote included a 15-minute Doom Eternal gameplay premiere, showing off the idTech7 engine in action for the first time. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Doom Eternal ushers in idTech 7, bloody new powers," 10 Aug. 2018 Last year’s keynote was more focused on developments in artificial intelligence. Washington Post,, "At Google, ‘responsibility’ upstages new technology," 8 May 2018 Nvidia didn’t pull any punches during its big CES 2019 keynote on Sunday night. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Nvidia reveals RTX laptop GPUs, FreeSync support for GeForce graphics cards," 7 Jan. 2019 For the last few years, former chief executive Brian Krzanich’s keynotes at the Consumer Electronics Show were a circus of drones and sensors. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel makes Bob Swan its permanent CEO, maintaining a slow, steady course away from the PC," 31 Jan. 2019 Apple’s Tuesday keynote took place in an affluent but not alienatingly so neighborhood, just a few hundred feet from a Target, and the luxury apartment building Tavi Gevinson used to do sponcon for, and Brooklyn’s second Apple Store. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "Silicon Valley brings its “humanist,” “minimalist” aesthetic to Brooklyn.," 31 Oct. 2018 Following September’s keynote that brought us three new iPhones, only a month and a half later, Apple execs have again taken the stage to announce more products. Hanna Howard, Teen Vogue, "New MacBook Air Announced at October 2018 Apple Event," 30 Oct. 2018

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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Statistics for keynote

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for keynote

The first known use of keynote was in 1677

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on keynote

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with keynote

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for keynote

Spanish Central: Translation of keynote

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

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