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keyword

[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.”.
Also, key word.
Origin
1855-1860
1855-60; key1 + word
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for key words

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
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Word Origin and History for key words

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
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10
9
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