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shift key

noun
  1. a typewriter key that determines whether characters are printed in upper or lower case and controls the printing of numbers and symbols.
  2. Computers. a key that performs the same functions as on a typewriter keyboard and also controls other functions, depending on the program: To print a file, depress the shift key and a function key.
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Origin of shift key

First recorded in 1900–05
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for shift key

Historical Examples of shift key

  • On the shift-key machine he must still struggle with the built-up exclamation point, the ditto quotes and the hyphen dash.

    The Fiction Factory

    John Milton Edwards

  • Edwards has favored the full key-board as being less of a drain upon the attention than the "shift-key" machine.

    The Fiction Factory

    John Milton Edwards

  • It is evident that both the shift-key arrangement and the double keyboard have their particular psychological advantages.


British Dictionary definitions for shift key

shift key

noun
  1. a key on a typewriter or computer keyboard used to type capital letters and certain numbers and symbols
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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