Collins
World English Dictionary
function key
 
n
computing a key on the keyboard of a microcomputer, etc. that gives special commands to the computer

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

function key definition

hardware
(From the IBM 3270 terminal's Programmed Function Keys (PF keys)) One of a set of special keys on a computer or terminal keyboard which can be programmed so as to cause an application program to perform certain actions.
Function keys on a terminal may either generate short fixed sequences of characters, often beginning with the escape character (ASCII 27), or the characters they generate may be configured by sending special character sequences to the terminal.
On a microcomputer keyboard, the function keys may generate a fixed, single byte code, outside the normal ASCII range, which is translated into some other configurable sequence by the keyboard device driver or interpreted directly by the application program.
(1995-02-07)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
If using the function key caused the message, try clicking the corresponding
  function key on the screen.
In this case, the value of the expression is found by using the y x function
  key on a scientific calculator.
Certain data entry screens can be accessed directly from other data entry
  screens by pressing the appropriate function key.
It provides the option to run the program from a menu or function key.
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