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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 object), verb (used 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.
1810-20; key1 + board
Related forms
keyboarder, keyboardist, noun
rekeyboard, verb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for keyboard
  • Stop texting, typing, or mouse clicking and move your hands completely away from the keyboard.
  • Sumptuous singing and lyricism at the keyboard are always collectable.
  • All except for one small keyboard instrument on display.
  • Of course to really work for web access for instance, we'd have to also have an intelligent keyboard.
  • Anyone using a keyboard and mouse has some options that may help protect the hands.
  • Dexterity of hands and fingers to operate a computer keyboard.
  • It shows that it is possible to fit a proper alphanumeric keyboard into a small device.
  • As well, for serious typing one can use a blue tooth keyboard and mouse.
  • Dexterity of hands and fingers to operate office equipment including a computer keyboard and peripheral equipment.
  • There are many reasons why you might not want to use the keyboard for composing text.
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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keyboard in Technology
A hardware device consisting of a number of mechanical buttons (keys) which the user presses to input characters to a computer.
Keyboards were originally part of terminals which were separate peripheral devices that performed both input and output and communicated with the computer via a serial line. Today a keyboard is more likely to be connected more directly to the processor, allowing the processor to scan it and detect which key or keys are currently pressed. Pressing a key sends a low-level key code to the keyboard input driver routine which translates this to one or more characters or special actions.
Keyboards vary in the keys they have, most have keys to generate the ASCII character set as well as various function keys and special purpose keys, e.g. reset or volume control.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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