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1. To type something in using a computer keyboard or a keypad. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "key" and "in." If you key in the right code, the alarm will stop beeping. Can your intern key this data in for me?
2. To recognize and focus on something. If you want to retain more employees, you need to key in on the things that are important to them.
3. To inform someone of something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "key" and "in." Can you key me in on Pete's plans for this new project?
See also: key
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
See also: key
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.