follow Dictionary.com

Capitol vs. capital? What's the difference?

keyword

or key word

[kee-wurd] /ˈkiˌwɜrd/
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.”.
Origin of keyword
1855-1860
1855-60; key1 + word
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for key word
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The letter "a" is then brought under "E," which is the second letter of the key word.

    Visual Signaling Signal Corps United States Army
  • It is the safest sort of a cipher if the key word is carefully guarded.

    The Diamond Pin Carolyn Wells
  • That will give you a series of numbers which it is impossible to decipher unless you know the key word.

    On Secret Service William Nelson Taft
  • Take any key word, phrase, or sentence desired; for example, "A discovery."

    Visual Signaling Signal Corps United States Army
  • He didn't like Starret staying there—a key word or a familiar face sometimes triggers the memory.

    Forget Me Nearly Floyd L. Wallace
British Dictionary definitions for key word

keyword

/ˈkiːˌwɜːd/
noun
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for key word

keyword

n.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for keyword

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for key

10
9
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for key word