pass·​key ˈpas-ˌkē How to pronounce passkey (audio)
plural passkeys
: a key that provides special access (as to a secure area)
… left his swipe-card passkey behind when he stepped outside the tower's secure door and was unable to get back in …
: such as
: a key designed to open any of a set of similar locks : master key
: a key with a large part of the bit filed away to enable it to open low quality locks as a master key : skeleton key
: an authentication method that uses biometrics (such as fingerprint or facial recognition) to identify and grant access to an authorized user
Instead of a vulnerable password, passkeys work by using your biometric data as your login 'fingerprint.' For example, you could use the Touch ID button on a Mac or a facial recognition scanner on your smartphone to log in to your account. No typing

Examples of passkey in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web According to findings from app developer Steve Moser, X plans on rolling out support for passkeys, which can use your device’s fingerprint, facial recognition, or PIN to log in to your account. Emma Roth, The Verge, 31 Aug. 2023 Since then, passkeys have been supported by Chrome and Android, and services like Docusign, Kayak, PayPal, Shopify and Yahoo! Japan. USA TODAY, 5 May 2023 The company also recently added support for passkeys. WIRED, 11 Aug. 2023 This has been a recurring theme for several years, but in May 2023, tech giant Google took the first step: allowing users to log in with passkeys that merely require biometric data. Manon Bischoff, Scientific American, 13 June 2023 While Google evidently wants people to shift toward using passkeys, passwords aren’t going away entirely. Marco Marcelline, PCMAG, 6 June 2023 In the same interview, Dashlane CEO John Bennett said the company wants to avoid getting trapped inside a walled garden with passkey. Umar Shakir, The Verge, 3 May 2023 Once the feature is available, TikTok users can enable a passkey for their account by going to the app’s settings and selecting the new passkey menu item. Umar Shakir, The Verge, 17 July 2023 Other notable recent passkey implementers include GitHub, 1Password, and Google Workspace. Umar Shakir, The Verge, 17 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'passkey.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1633, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of passkey was in 1633

Dictionary Entries Near passkey

Cite this Entry

“Passkey.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


pass·​key ˈpas-ˌkē How to pronounce passkey (audio)
: a key for opening two or more locks
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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