skeleton key

noun

Definition of skeleton key 

: a key with a large part of the bit filed away to enable it to open low quality locks as a master key

Examples of skeleton key in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Over the years, Crosby has built a complete game, and his collection of skills makes him a skeleton key in skates. Adam Kilgore, chicagotribune.com, "The subtle secret to Sidney Crosby's greatness," 30 Apr. 2018 As a reference point, the Bible is a skeleton key that unlocks hundreds of years of culture, from Shakespeare to Kehinde Wiley. Anchorage Daily News, "Even atheists should read the Bible," 1 Apr. 2018 Another set of items stolen included 11 more items — a 1952 Bel Air High School ring, an ivory elephant pendant, a gold skeleton key pendant and diamond earrings among them — valued at $1,320, according to charging documents. Erika Butler, The Aegis, "Whiteford man charged with stealing thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from Fallston home," 23 Jan. 2018

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

1810, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of skeleton key was in 1810

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More Definitions for skeleton key

skeleton key

noun

English Language Learners Definition of skeleton key

: a key that is made to open many different locks

More from Merriam-Webster on skeleton key

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