keyword

[kee-wurd]
noun
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.”
Also, key word.


Origin:
1855–60; key1 + word

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
keyword (ˈkiːˌwɜːd)
 
n
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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

keyword definition


1. One of a fixed set of symbols built into the syntax of a language. Typical keywords would be if, then, else, print, goto, while, switch. There are usually restrictions about reusing keywords as names for user-defined objects such as variables or procedures. Languages vary as to what is provided as a keyword and what is a library routine, for example some languages provide keywords for input/output operations whereas in others these are library routines.
2. A small set of words designed to convey the subject of a technical article. Some publications specify a fixed set of keywords from which those for a particular article should be chosen.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
Getting quizzed strengthens memory-jogging keyword clues.
Keyword searches, for example, return many hits but offer a poor sense of
  overall trends.
On the other hand, it may be that you triggered some keyword threshold.
Auctioning keyword search-terms, which deliver sponsored links to advertisers'
  websites, has proved to be particularly lucrative.
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