Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


or key word

[kee-wurd] /ˈkiˌwɜrd/
a word that serves as a key, as to the meaning of another word, a sentence, passage, or the like.
a word used to encipher or decipher a cryptogram, as a pattern for a transposition procedure or the basis for a complex substitution.
Also called catchword. Library Science. a significant or memorable word or term in the title, abstract, or text of a document or other item being indexed, used as the index entry.
Digital Technology. a word used to classify or organize digital content, or to facilitate an online search for information: Search the database for the keyword “Ireland.”.
Origin of keyword
First recorded in 1855-60; key1 + word Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for keyword
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What is the keyword of the book, occurring oftener than any other?

    Quiet Talks on Prayer S. D. (Samuel Dickey) Gordon
  • The keyword to his political theory was not Pity nor Benevolence, but Justice.

  • The keyword is written out repeatedly and the message is written beneath it.

    Uncle Sam Detective William Atherton Du Puy
  • Instead of using the letters of the message, the letters of the keyword are used.

    Uncle Sam Detective William Atherton Du Puy
  • keyword recognition signals the reader to pay closer attention for critical definitions and ideas that follow.

  • The keyword—its significance had seemed to come to her in her sleep.

  • That is why the keyword cipher is practically insoluble without knowledge of the keyword.

    The Mystery of the Downs John R. Watson
British Dictionary definitions for keyword


a word used as a key to a code
any significant word or phrase, esp a word used to describe the contents of a document
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for keyword

also key-word, 1807, from key (n.1) + word (n.). Originally in reference to codes and ciphers.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for keyword

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for keyword

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for keyword