[ kee-bawrd, -bohrd ]
/ ˈkiˌbɔrd, -ˌboʊrd /


the row or set of keys on a piano, organ, or the like.
a set of keys usually arranged in tiers, for operating a typewriter, typesetting machine, computer terminal, or the like.
any of various musical instruments played by means of a pianolike keyboard, as a piano, electric piano, or organ.

verb (used with or without object)

Also key, key in. Computers. to enter (information) into a computer by means of a keyboard.
to set (text) in type, using a machine that is operated by a keyboard.

Nearby words

  1. key west,
  2. key worker,
  3. key, francis scott,
  4. key-in-lock maneuver,
  5. key-man assurance,
  6. keyboard warrior,
  7. keyboarder,
  8. keyboarding,
  9. keyboardist,
  10. keyed

Origin of keyboard

First recorded in 1810–20; key1 + board

Related formskey·board·er, key·board·ist, nounre·key·board, verb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for key in

key in


(tr, adverb) to enter (information or instructions) in a computer or other device by means of a keyboard or keypad


/ (ˈkiːˌbɔːd) /


  1. a complete set of keys, usually hand-operated, as on a piano, organ, typewriter, or typesetting machine
  2. (as modifier)a keyboard instrument
(often plural) a musical instrument, esp an electronic one, played by means of a keyboard


to set (a text, etc) in type, onto magnetic tape, or into some other medium, by using a keyboard machine
Derived Formskeyboarder, noun

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

Word Origin and History for key in



1819, from key (n.1) in sense of "mechanism of a musical instrument" + board (n.1). Originally of pianos, organs, etc., extended to other machines 1846. The verb is first recorded 1926 (implied in keyboarding).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper