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 This conversation, which takes place early in the novel, feels like a skeleton key to everything that happens after it. Jenny Offill, The New York Review of Books, "Seeing Too Clearly," 3 Nov. 2020 Along with serving as mayor — and getting a skeleton key to the city — residents can enjoy local hiking trails, eat at the Hell Hole Diner, play mini-golf and enjoy traditional Halloween activities like carving pumpkins. Slone Terranella, Detroit Free Press, "Michiganders can serve as the mayor and spend the night in Hell," 30 Sep. 2020 In 2015, Symantec found that Winnti also appeared to be using skeleton key injection attacks like the kind CyCraft found used against the Taiwanese semiconductor companies. Andy Greenberg, Wired, "Chinese Hackers Have Pillaged Taiwan's Semiconductor Industry," 6 Aug. 2020 Moss is The Invisible Man’s skeleton key, the means to opening its every door. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "The Invisible Man Obscures Its Enemy, But Elisabeth Moss Is Unmissable," 28 Feb. 2020 Pable told his supervisor, Michael Haynes, who decided to test the skeleton key by issuing an alert on the Regional Transit Authority for Dayton, Ohio, which also had BusTime, the lawsuit alleges. Mary Wisniewski, chicagotribune.com, "Ex-CTA employee reported a security glitch, then he was fired, lawsuit alleges," 4 Dec. 2019 But Melania’s latest foray into haunted festive design comes closer to providing a skeleton key for the warped mimetic rules of Trumpism than Trump himself ever has. David Roth, The New Republic, "A Unified Theory of the Trumps’ Creepy Aesthetic," 19 Dec. 2019 Single sign-on acts as a sort of skeleton key to all of your accounts across the internet. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "'Sign In With Apple' Protects You in Ways Google and Facebook Don't," 4 June 2019 That can turn a single $100 record into a valuable skeleton key for a buyer. Robert Mcmillan, WSJ, "Thieves Can Now Nab Your Data in a Few Minutes for a Few Bucks," 9 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for skeleton key

Time Traveler

The first known use of skeleton key was in 1810

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Cite this Entry

“Skeleton key.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/skeleton%20key. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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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

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