View synonyms for keynote


[ kee-noht ]


  1. Music. the note or tone on which a key or system of tones is founded; the tonic.
  2. the main idea or central principle of a speech, program, thought, action, etc.
  3. the policy line to be followed, as by a party in a political campaign, that is set forth authoritatively in advance by an address or other formal announcement.

verb (used with object)

, key·not·ed, key·not·ing.
  1. to announce the policy of (a political party, campaign, assembly, etc.); deliver a keynote address at:

    The governor will keynote the convention.

  2. to serve as the keynote for.
  3. Music. to give the keynote of.

verb (used without object)

, key·not·ed, key·not·ing.
  1. to provide a keynote, especially a keynote address:

    He refused an invitation to keynote.


/ ˈkiːˌnəʊt /


    1. a central or determining principle in a speech, literary work, etc
    2. ( as modifier )

      a keynote speech

  1. the note upon which a scale or key is based; tonic


  1. to deliver a keynote address to (a political convention, etc)
  2. to outline (political issues, policy, etc) in or as in a keynote address

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Word History and Origins

Origin of keynote1

First recorded in 1755–65; key 1 + note

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Example Sentences

Check out the agenda, including an eye-opening keynote from our new Director of Search Content, Carolyn Lynden, dedicated SEO and PPC learning journeys, Overtime live Q&A, and more.

CES 2021 is still happening — without Vegas, crowds, prototypes or germsSamsung’s CES keynote presentation, a half-hour video, calls its focus a “Better Normal for All.”

At the 2021 show, Verizon takes the stop spot for the keynote and Samsung will be announcing its new 5G-enabled devices at an event after the show.

In her keynote, Zuboff suggested EU regulators should follow two key principles as they consider what to do.

Make diversity in your speaker line-ups and keynotes a top priority.

I flew to Peru to hear her give a keynote speech at an international conference.

To this end, CAIR has invited Rev. Al Sharpton to be the keynote speaker at its 20th anniversary dinner to be held next month.

You may not remember, but you were our commencement keynote speaker that day at the George Washington University National Center.

But Pence, who was slated to keynote this conference in just a few minutes?

He was a soaring star from the moment he finished his keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

Daring ambition rather than any merely abstract virtue was the keynote of her character.

These are the keynote of the great Republic, dominating all other chords, sacrificing harmony to noise, beauty to bulk.

The keynote is the oath which, in all ages and in all languages, passion seems to generate with but very little assistance.

That song had been the keynote to her new life, and it seemed now as if it were also to be the final benediction.

This humanity of Holbach's is the very keynote of his character and of his intellectual life as well.


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Keynes, John Maynardkeynote address