• synonyms


or key word

See more synonyms for keyword on Thesaurus.com
  1. a word that serves as a key, as to the meaning of another word, a sentence, passage, or the like.
  2. a word used to encipher or decipher a cryptogram, as a pattern for a transposition procedure or the basis for a complex substitution.
  3. Also called catchword. Library Science. a significant or memorable word or term in the title, abstract, or text of a document or other item being indexed, used as the index entry.
  4. Digital Technology. a word used to classify or organize digital content, or to facilitate an online search for information: Search the database for the keyword “Ireland.”
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Origin of keyword

First recorded in 1855–60; key1 + word
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for keywords

abracadabra, access, key, password, watchword, abraxas, keyword, opener, paternoster

Examples from the Web for keywords

Contemporary Examples of keywords

Historical Examples of keywords

British Dictionary definitions for keywords


  1. a word used as a key to a code
  2. any significant word or phrase, esp a word used to describe the contents of a document
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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 keywords



also key-word, 1807, from key (n.1) + word (n.). Originally in reference to codes and ciphers.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper