key


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Key

(),
Ernst A.H., Swedish anatomist and physician, 1832-1901. See: foramen of Key-Retzius, sheath of Key and Retzius.

key

a character of special significance in an organism. Such characters are used in a system for determining the identity of an organism on the basis of the presence or absence of a succession of characters. Usually such keys are DICHOTOMOUS (2); that is to say, at each step there is a choice between two possibilities. Keys, however, may have more than two characters at each step and there is a gradual elimination of absent characters until identification is made.
References in classic literature ?
He made an effort to stretch out the key towards her as far as possible, and Mary again retreated.
As he ate it occurred to him that by dragging the table along the floor he could bring the key within his reach, but when he essayed to do so, he found that the table had been securely bolted to the floor during the period of his unconsciousness, Again Gahan smiled and shrugged and resumed his eating.
Boxtel covered it with a slight coat of wax, and when he thus renewed the experiment, the obstacle which prevented the key from being turned a second time left its impression on the wax.
Soon after sunrise, Magdalen suddenly heard the grating of the key from outside in the lock of the door.
"Mean and shabby, eh?" returns the lawyer, rubbing his nose with the key.
That night De Vac took the key to a locksmith on the far side of London; one who could not possibly know him or recognize the key as belonging to the palace.
But there was a discussion the other day among the Choir, whether Stony stood for Tony;' clinking one key against another.
After that answer, my lady rose to go up-stairs, and ask for Miss Rachel's keys. The Sergeant was before-hand with me in opening the door for her.
And putting the keys into his pocket, he walked into the library.
"If I had made any difficulty about fetching the key, there might have been some excuse, but I went the very moment she said she wanted it."
But nowhere in the whole boat could they find a key to fit that lock.
And I pressed the key, and pulled at the gate, and exerted myself.