• synonyms


  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.
  4. keynote address.
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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.
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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.
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Origin of keynote

First recorded in 1755–65; key1 + note
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for keynoted

Contemporary Examples of keynoted

British Dictionary definitions for keynoted


    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
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verb (tr)
  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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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 keynoted



also key-note, "lowest note of a musical scale, basis of a scale," 1776, from key (n.1) in sense of "musical scale" + note (n.). Figurative sense of "leading idea" is from 1783; keynote address is 1905, American English.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper