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In consonance or accordance with other elements, factors, or styles. A reference to musical tonality. Jonathan's fashion sense is impeccable, with each facet of his ensemble in key with the others.
out of key
Not in consonance or accordance with other elements, factors, or styles. A reference to musical tonality. That shirt looks ridiculous—it's totally out of key with the rest of your wardrobe!
the keys to the kingdom
A resource that will give the possessor access to the most complete or profound knowledge or power possible in a given area or pursuit. A reference to Matthew 16:19, when Jesus said to Peter: "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Whatever you do, don't lose this external hard drive with all of our accounts and passwords. Anyone who has it will have the keys to the kingdom! Whichever candidate reaches the most citizens at a fundamental, grassroots level will have the keys to the kingdom securely in hand.
A child who is home alone after school or in general because their parents or guardians are at work. I know it makes me sound horrible, but I just don't want Tommy hanging out with those latchkey children from down the road. Being a latchkey child was tough at times, but it taught me the value of self-reliance at an earlier age than most.
A child who is home alone after school or in general because their parents or guardians are at work. I know it makes me sound horrible, but I just don't want Tommy hanging out with those latchkey kids from down the road. Being a latchkey kid was tough at times, but it taught me the value of self-reliance at an earlier age than most.
lock (someone) up and throw away the key
To incarcerate someone in prison forever or indefinitely. That crazy drunk driver nearly hit me! I hope they lock him up and throw away the key!
a golden key can open any door
Anything can be accomplished with enough money. Although the fancy hotel had been booked solid for months, Lori was able to reserve a room quite easily. A golden key can open any door.
A tool used to remove caps from glass bottles and puncture lids on cans. The phrase can also be used simply as slang for a bottle opener. Be sure to bring a church key with you so we can open up the bottles! Here, use this church key to open that can of soup.
hold the key
To contain or provide the missing element or necessary explanation for something. Scientists are scouring the rainforest for medicinal plants in the hope that one of them holds the key to curing cancer. This passage holds the key to understanding the entire novel.
1. Modest and restrained, often intentionally to avoid being conspicuous, loud, wild, etc. It's just going to be a little, low-key gathering with friends, no big deal. I'm trying to keep news of my promotion low-key, so as not to upset some of my co-workers.
2. Not exhibiting much energy or enthusiasm; mellow. You seem pretty low-key today. Everything OK?
Excited, nervous, or anxious. I'm so keyed up after that concert that there's no way I'm going to be able to fall asleep. Ben gets a little keyed up before he goes on stage, but once he's out there, he's completely in control.
under lock and key
Securely hidden away. I keep my grandmother's secret recipe under lock and key so that no one can steal it.
in a minor key
Having a subtle, understated presentation or demeanor. An allusion to the musical key, the phrase is typically used to describe abstract concepts and characteristics. The film, which elegantly examines the very real struggles of everyday people in the modern age, is human wisdom in the minor key.
a two-ended device used to remove bottle tops and to pierce a hole in can lids. I'm looking for the church key so I can open this beer. She opened the can of tomato juice with the church key.
A golden key can open any door.
Prov. Sufficient money can accomplish anything. Jill: I'm amazed that Sally got into a good university; her grades were so poor. Jane: Well, she comes from a wealthy family, and a golden key can open any door. Jane: How did Fred manage to get invited to the party at the country club? It's so exclusive there. Alan: Yes, but a golden key can open any door.
key someone up
to cause someone to be anxious or excited. The excitement of the moment really keyed me up. Thoughts of their vacation keyed up the children so much they couldn't sleep.
key to success
Fig. the secret to someone's success. Bob said that the key to his success is working hard, being on time, and being extremely lucky.
*keyed up (about something)and *keyed up (over something)
to be excited or anxious. (*Typically: be ~; get ~.) Why are you so keyed up about nothing? She is keyed up over her son's health.
modulate to a (different) key
to change from one musical key to another by means of a musical transition. Suddenly, the organist modulated to a key that was too high for most of the singers. I will have to modulate to a lower key before I start the next hymn.
[of music or singing] off pitch; out of tune. She always sings off-key and makes the rest of the choir sound like baying hounds.
In harmony with other factors, in a matching style, as in This furniture is perfectly in key with the overall design. This term uses key in the musical sense, that is, "a scheme of notes related to one another." The antonym, out of key, means "not in harmony with other factors," or "unsuitable," as in He is out of key with his time. [c. 1900]
Make intense, excited, or nervous. For example, The excitement of the gallery opening has really keyed her up. This usage alludes to key in the sense of "wind up a spring-driven mechanism such as a clock." [Late 1800s]
out of key
see under in key.
under lock and key
Securely locked up, as in He keeps the wine under lock and key. [First half of 1500s]
in (or out of) keyin (or out of) harmony.
under lock and keysecurely locked up.
in a minor key(especially of a literary work) understated.
1995 Independent He was a moralist in a minor key.
under ˌlock and ˈkeylocked up in prison, in a safe, etc: The escaped prisoners are now safely under lock and key. ♢ The exam papers must be kept under lock and key until half an hour before the exam.
1. To enter something as data into a computer system or program using a keyboard; input something: I keyed the statistics in and analyzed the patterns. The researcher keyed in the results of the experiment and printed out a copy.
2. To become aware of or responsive to someone or something: If they are going to be good leaders, they need to key in to the needs of the voters. We stated our complaints very clearly, but the manager hasn't keyed in.
3. To cause someone to become aware of or responsive to someone or something: We don't know the strategy yet, but you can key us in. The manager keyed in the employees to the new dress code.
To make something correspond to something else: I wrote up a teaching guide and keyed it to the materials for each lesson. The worksheets were keyed to the requirements for each course.
To cause someone to be intense, excited, or nervous: The coffee has really keyed me up. Thinking about the party tonight has keyed up the kids. The audience was all keyed up, waiting to find out who won the award.
n. a beer can opener designed to puncture a can, leaving a triangular hole; a bottle opener. (Older. No longer widely known, but still in use. One type of bottle opener is formed from metal following the outline of a large keyhole. This may have contributed to the origin of this term.) Where is the church key when I need it?
1. and kee and key and ki (ki) n. a kilogram of cannabis. (Drugs.) Well, how much is a ki?
2. n. ketamine hydrochloride, a drug similar to LSD. (Drugs.) You want to try this K. stuff?
3. n. a thousand (of anything, such as dollars, bytes, etc.). This car is worth at least twenty K.
n. an important person in an event; a person central to an event. Sam is not exactly a key figure, but he can lead us to Mr. Big.
n. the head laborer on a movie set. (Filmmaking.) The key grip has a complaint that could hold up production.
1. mod. nervous; anxious. Sally was a little keyed up before the meet.
2. and keyed up to the roof mod. alcohol or drug intoxicated. He was a mite keyed, but still technically sober. Tipsy, hell! I’d say keyed up to the roof!
keyed up to the roofverb
mod. not obvious; not hyped. Let’s try to keep this low-key so as not to upset the family.
In consonance with other factors.
out of key
Not in consonance with other factors.
under lock and key
Securely locked up.