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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
  • Wotton's account of her accomplishments was pitched in a minor key.

    Henry VIII. A. F. Pollard
  • He gave his moustache a pull, and reverted to the minor key.

    Jill the Reckless P. G. (Pelham Grenville) Wodehouse
  • They had been singing softly in a minor key, but gradually the singing turned to talk.

    Just Patty Jean Webster
  • He does not like to hear any one play the piano in a minor key.

  • They have a strange preference for the minor key in music, for the dirge.

    An Ohio Woman in the Philippines Emily Bronson Conger
  • The inscription, I would submit, is too much in the "minor key."

    Bibliomania; or Book-Madness

    Thomas Frognall Dibdin
  • 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
  • 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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