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[kee-hohl] /ˈkiˌhoʊl/
a hole for inserting a key in a lock, especially one in the shape of a circle with a rectangle having a width smaller than the diameter of the circle projecting from the bottom.
Also called key. Basketball. the area at each end of the court that is bounded by two lines extending from the end line parallel to and equidistant from the sidelines and terminating in a circle around the foul line.
extremely private or intimate, especially with reference to information gained as if by peeping through a keyhole.
snooping and intrusive:
a keyhole investigator.
Origin of keyhole
1585-95; key1 + hole Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for keyhole
  • He had the same problem in his right shoulder four years ago and had keyhole surgery to fix it.
  • The lock on his car door had frozen and he had to breathe on the keyhole to fit the key.
  • The map is mounted on wood material with beveled edges and a keyhole hanging slot on the back.
  • The other problem is that these networks offer us the world through a contemporary keyhole.
  • Techniques already arriving in surgical theatres include robotic keyhole surgery on the heart.
  • But past experience suggests that such keyhole surgery may prove impossible.
  • Education and method are key, and this study is a keyhole.
  • But crouching geek-to-geek at a workbench, squinting into a puzzling keyhole, the differences didn't matter.
  • The video camera recorded a sharp image of it before it disappeared inside the keyhole.
  • The new key doesn't require a button press or even a keyhole.
British Dictionary definitions for keyhole


an aperture in a door or a lock case through which a key may be passed to engage the lock mechanism
any small aperture resembling a keyhole in shape or function
a transient column of vapour or plasma formed during the welding or cutting of materials, using high energy beams, such as lasers
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 keyhole

1590s, from key (n.1) + hole (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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