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minor key

noun, Music.
a key or mode based on a minor scale.
a less jubilant or more restrained mood, atmosphere, or quality:
The conversation shifted to a minor key with news of the defeat.
Origin of minor key
First recorded in 1810-20 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for minor key
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Thus he sang in a high, minor key, with sudden drops to lower notes and inflections.

  • They had been singing softly in a minor key, but gradually the singing turned to talk.

    Just Patty Jean Webster
  • Its notes throughout are on the minor key, but these merge at last into a strain of triumph.

  • The inscription, I would submit, is too much in the "minor key."

    Bibliomania; or Book-Madness Thomas Frognall Dibdin
  • Forward the ship's bell sounded two double strokes, then a single, followed by a wail in minor key: "Five bells and all's well!"

    Alias The Lone Wolf Louis Joseph Vance
  • You hear faint tones of it, as it is; but it is in the minor key, and very sad.

    Nasby in Exile David R. Locke
  • He gave his moustache a pull, and reverted to the minor key.

    Jill the Reckless P. G. (Pelham Grenville) Wodehouse
  • The effect of the major and the minor key is equally marked.

    Schopenhauer Margrieta Beer
British Dictionary definitions for minor key

minor key

(music) a key based on notes taken from a corresponding minor scale
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
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