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[kee-bawrd, -bohrd] /ˈkiˌbɔrd, -ˌboʊrd/
the row or set of keys on a piano, organ, or the like.
a set of keys usually arranged in tiers, for operating a typewriter, typesetting machine, computer terminal, or the like.
any of various musical instruments played by means of a pianolike keyboard, as a piano, electric piano, or organ.
verb (used with or without object)
Also, key, key in. Computers. to enter (information) into a computer by means of a keyboard.
to set (text) in type, using a machine that is operated by a keyboard.
Origin of keyboard
First recorded in 1810-20; key1 + board
Related forms
keyboarder, keyboardist, noun
rekeyboard, verb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for keyboard
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then he went to the piano, lifted the lid and ran his fingers over the keyboard.

    Melomaniacs James Huneker
  • But he played, played furiously, and he smote the keyboard as if he hated it.

    Melomaniacs James Huneker
  • Their future neighbours are hoping that they will get one without a keyboard.

  • Perhaps there would be no longer our pianoforte, our keyboard.

    Old Fogy James Huneker
  • But hit out on the keyboard a smashing chord and, pray, where is the variety in color?

    Old Fogy James Huneker
British Dictionary definitions for keyboard


  1. a complete set of keys, usually hand-operated, as on a piano, organ, typewriter, or typesetting machine
  2. (as modifier): a keyboard instrument
(often pl) a musical instrument, esp an electronic one, played by means of a keyboard
to set (a text, etc) in type, onto magnetic tape, or into some other medium, by using a keyboard machine
Derived Forms
keyboarder, noun
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 keyboard

1819, from key (n.1) in sense of "mechanism of a musical instrument" + board (n.1). Originally of pianos, organs, etc., extended to other machines 1846. The verb is first recorded 1926 (implied in keyboarding).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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