QUIZZES

DISCOVER THE INFLUENCE OF PORTUGUESE ON ENGLISH VIA THIS QUIZ!

We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

Idioms for key

    power of the keys, the authority of a pope in ecclesiastical matters, vested in him as successor of St. Peter.

Origin of key

1
First recorded before 900; Middle English key(e), kay(e),Old English cǣg, cǣge; cognate with Old Frisian kei, kai

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH key

cay, key , quay

Definition for key (2 of 4)

key2
[ kee ]
/ ki /

noun, plural keys.

a reef or low island; cay.

Origin of key

2
First recorded in 1690–1700; from Spanish cayo, probably from Arawak

Definition for key (3 of 4)

key3
[ kee ]
/ ki /

noun, plural keys.Slang.

a kilogram of marijuana or other narcotic drug.

Origin of key

3
An Americanism dating back to 1965–70; shortening and respelling of kilogram

Definition for key (4 of 4)

Key
[ kee ]
/ ki /

noun

Francis Scott, 1780–1843, U.S. lawyer: author of The Star-Spangled Banner.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for key

British Dictionary definitions for key (1 of 3)

key1
/ (kiː) /

noun

adjective

of great importance; cruciala key issue

verb (mainly tr)

See also key in, key up

Derived forms of key

keyless, adjective

Word Origin for key

Old English cǣg; related to Old Frisian kēi, Middle Low German keie spear

British Dictionary definitions for key (2 of 3)

key2
/ (kiː) /

noun

a variant spelling of cay

British Dictionary definitions for key (3 of 3)

Key
/ (kiː) /

noun

John (Phillip). born 1961, New Zealand politician; prime minister from 2008
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

Scientific definitions for key

key
[ kē ]

See cay.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for key

key

The main or central note of a piece of music (or part of a piece of music). Each key has its own scale, beginning and ending on the note that defines the octave of the next scale. The key of C-major uses a scale that starts on C and uses only the white keys of the piano. In a piece composed in the key of C, the music is likely to end on the note C, and certain combinations of notes based on C will predominate.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with key

key

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.