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.
Some minutes elapsed -minutes that seemed hours -- before she found the right key and raised the lid of the bureau.
Tulkinghorn rubs his head with the key while she entertains herself with a sarcastic laugh.
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.
And putting the keys into his pocket, he walked into the library.
He got up and walked to the gate again, and "wished he had had the key about him at the time.
As the door closed, Dorian put the key in his pocket and looked round the room.
When Fouquet had satisfied himself that Baisemeaux had reached the bottom of the staircase, he inserted the key in the first lock.