Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Ket (kĕt) noun [ Icelandic kjöt flesh; akin to Swedish kött , Danish kjöd .] Carrion; any filth. [ Prov. Eng.] Halliwell.

Keta noun [ Perh. of Amer. Indian origin.] (Zoology) A small salmon ( Oncorhynchus keta ) of inferior value, which in the autumn runs up all the larger rivers between San Francisco and Kamchatka.

Ketch (kĕch) noun [ Prob. corrupted from Turk. qāīq : confer French caiche . Confer Caïque .] (Nautical) An almost obsolete form of vessel, with a mainmast and a mizzenmast, -- usually from one hundred to two hundred and fifty tons burden.

Bomb ketch . See under Bomb .

Ketch noun A hangman. See Jack Ketch .

Ketch transitive verb [ See Catch .] To catch. [ Now obsolete in spelling, and colloquial in pronunciation.]

To ketch him at a vantage in his snares.
Spenser.

Ketchup (-ŭp) noun A sauce. See Catchup .

Ketine noun [ See Ketone .] (Chemistry) One of a series of organic bases obtained by the reduction of certain isonitroso compounds of the ketones. In general they are unstable oily substances having a pungent aromatic odor.

Ketmie noun (Botany) The name of certain African species of Hibiscus , cultivated for the acid of their mucilage. [ Written also ketmia .]

Ketol (kē"tōl) noun [ Ket one + ind ol .] (Chemistry) One of a series of series of complex nitrogenous substances, represented by methyl ketol and related to indol.

Methyl ketol , a weak organic base, obtained as a white crystalline substance having the odor of fæces.

Ketone (kē"tōn) noun [ Confer Acetone .] (Chemistry) One of a large class of organic substances resembling the aldehydes, obtained by the distillation of certain salts of organic acids and consisting of carbonyl (CO) united with two hydrocarbon radicals. In general the ketones are colorless volatile liquids having a pungent ethereal odor.

» The ketones are named by adding the suffix- one to the stems of the organic acids from which they are respectively derived; thus, acetic acid gives acetone; butyric acid, butyrone , etc.

Ketonic (ke*tŏn"ĭk) adjective (Chemistry) Pertaining to, or derived from, a ketone; as, a ketonic acid.

Kettle (kĕt"t'l) noun [ Middle English ketel ; confer Anglo-Saxon cetel , cetil , cytel ; akin to Dutch kjedel , German kessel , Old High German chezzil , Icelandic ketill , SW. kittel , Danish kjedel , Goth. katils ; all perhaps from Latin catillus , dim. of catinus a deep vessel, bowl; but confer also Old High German chezzī kettle, Icelandic kati small ship.] A metallic vessel, with a wide mouth, often without a cover, used for heating and boiling water or other liguids.

Kettle pins , ninepins; skittles. [ Obsolete] Shelton. -- Kettle stitch (Bookbinding) , the stitch made in sewing at the head and tail of a book. Knight.

Kettledrum (-drŭm`) noun
1. (Mus.) A drum made of thin copper in the form of a hemispherical kettle, with parchment stretched over the mouth of it.

» Kettledrums , in pairs, were formerly used in martial music for cavalry, but are now chiefly confined to orchestras, where they are called tympani .

2. An informal social party at which a light collation is offered, held in the afternoon or early evening. Confer Drum , noun , 4 and 5.

Kettledrummer noun One who plays on a kettledrum.

Keuper (koi"pẽr) noun [ G.] (Geol.) The upper division of the European Triassic. See Chart of Geology .

Kevel noun [ Prov. English kevil , cavel , rod, pole, a large hammer, horse's bit; confer Icelandic kefli cylinder, a stick, mangle, and Danish kievle a roller.]
1. (Nautical) A strong cleat to which large ropes are belayed.

2. A stone mason's hammer. [ Written also cavil .]

Kevel head (Nautical) , a projecting end of a timber, used as a kevel.

Kevel, Kevin noun (Zoology) The gazelle.

Kever transitive verb & i. To cover. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Keverchief noun A kerchief. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Kex noun [ W. cecys , plural, hollow stalks.]


1. (Botany) A weed; a kecksy. Bp. Gauden.

Though the rough kex break
The starred mosaic.
Tennyson.

2. A dry husk or covering.

When the kex , or husk, is broken, he proveth a fair flying butterfly.
Holland.

Key (kē) noun [ Middle English keye , key , kay , Anglo-Saxon cæg .]
1. An instrument by means of which the bolt of a lock is shot or drawn; usually, a removable metal instrument fitted to the mechanism of a particular lock and operated by turning in its place.

2. An instrument which is turned like a key in fastening or adjusting any mechanism; as, a watch key ; a bed key , etc.

3. That part of an instrument or machine which serves as the means of operating it; as, a telegraph key ; the keys of a pianoforte, or of a typewriter.

4. A position or condition which affords entrance, control, pr possession, etc.; as, the key of a line of defense; the key of a country; the key of a political situation. Hence, that which serves to unlock, open, discover, or solve something unknown or difficult; as, the key to a riddle; the key to a problem.

Those who are accustomed to reason have got the true key of books.
Locke.

Who keeps the keys of all the creeds.
Tennyson.

5. That part of a mechanism which serves to lock up, make fast, or adjust to position.

6. (Architecture) (a) A piece of wood used as a wedge. (b) The last board of a floor when laid down.

7. (Masonry) (a) A keystone. (b) That part of the plastering which is forced through between the laths and holds the rest in place.

8. (Machinery) (a) A wedge to unite two or more pieces, or adjust their relative position; a cotter; a forelock. See Illusts . of Cotter , and Gib . (b) A bar, pin or wedge, to secure a crank, pulley, coupling, etc., upon a shaft, and prevent relative turning; sometimes holding by friction alone, but more frequently by its resistance to shearing, being usually embedded partly in the shaft and partly in the crank, pulley, etc.

9. (Botany) An indehiscent, one-seeded fruit furnished with a wing, as the fruit of the ash and maple; a samara; -- called also key fruit .

10. (Mus.) (a) A family of tones whose regular members are called diatonic tones, and named key tone (or tonic) or one (or eight), mediant or three, dominant or five, subdominant or four, submediant or six, supertonic or two, and subtonic or seven. Chromatic tones are temporary members of a key, under such names as " sharp four, " "flat seven," etc. Scales and tunes of every variety are made from the tones of a key. (b) The fundamental tone of a movement to which its modulations are referred, and with which it generally begins and ends; keynote.

Both warbling of one song, both in one key .
Shak.

11. Fig: The general pitch or tone of a sentence or utterance.

You fall at once into a lower key .
Cowper.

Key bed . Same as Key seat . -- Key bolt , a bolt which has a mortise near the end, and is secured by a cotter or wedge instead of a nut. Key bugle . See Kent bugle . -- Key of a position or country. (Mil.) See Key , 4. -- Key seat (Machinery) , a bed or groove to receive a key which prevents one part from turning on the other. -- Key way , a channel for a key, in the hole of a piece which is keyed to a shaft; an internal key seat; -- called also key seat . -- Key wrench (Machinery) , an adjustable wrench in which the movable jaw is made fast by a key. -- Power of the keys (Eccl.) , the authority claimed by the ministry in some Christian churches to administer the discipline of the church, and to grant or withhold its privileges; -- so called from the declaration of Christ, "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven." Matt. xvi. 19.

Key transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Keved ; present participle & verbal noun Keying .] To fasten or secure firmly; to fasten or tighten with keys or wedges. Francis.

To key up . (a) (Architecture) To raise (the whole ring of an arch) off its centering, by driving in the keystone forcibly . (b) (Mus.) To raise the pitch of . (c) Hence, fig., to produce nervous tension in.

Key noun (Teleg.) A metallic lever by which the circuit of the sending or transmitting part of a station equipment may be easily and rapidly opened and closed; any device for closing or opening an electric circuit.

Key noun A simplified version or analysis which accompanies something as a clue to its explanation, a book or table containing the solutions to problems, ciphers, allegories, or the like, or a table or synopsis of conspicuous distinguishing characters of members of a taxonomic group.

Key fruit (Botany) A samara.

Key tone (Mus.) See Keynote .

Key-cold adjective Cold as a metallic key; lifeless. [ Formerly, a proverbial expression.] Shak. Milton.

Keyage noun [ Old French caiage , French guayage . See lst Key , Quay .] Wharfage; quayage.

Keyboard noun The whole arrangement, or one range, of the keys of an organ, typewriter, etc.

Keyed (kēd) adjective Furnished with keys; as, a keyed instrument; also, set to a key, as a tune.

Keyed bugle . See Kent bugle .

Keyhole noun
1. A hole or apertupe in a door or lock, for receiving a key.

2. (a) (Carp.) A hole or excavation in beams intended to be joined together, to receive the key which fastens them. (b) (Machinery) a mortise for a key or cotter.

Keyhole limpet (Zoology) , a marine gastropod of the genus Fissurella and allied genera. See Fissurella . -- Keyhole saw , a narrow, slender saw, used in cutting keyholes, etc., as in doors; a kind of compass saw or fret saw. -- Keyhole urchin (Zoology) , any one of numerous clypeastroid sea urchins, of the genera Melitta , Rotula , and Encope ; -- so called because they have one or more perforations resembling keyholes.

Keynote noun
1. (Mus.) The tonic or first tone of the scale in which a piece or passage is written; the fundamental tone of the chord, to which all the modulations of the piece are referred; -- called also key tone .

2. The fundamental fact or idea; that which gives the key; as, the keynote of a policy or a sermon.

Keyseat transitive verb To form a key seat, as by cutting. See Key seat , under Key .

Keystone noun (Architecture) The central or topmost stone of an arch. This in some styles is made different in size from the other voussoirs, or projects, or is decorated with carving. See Illust. of Arch .

Keystone State , the State of Pennsylvania; - - so called from its having been the central State of the Union at the formation of the Constitution.

Keystone State Pennsylvania; -- a nickname alluding to its having been the central one of the 13 original United States.

Keyway noun See Key way , under Key .

Khaki (kä"ke) adjective [ Hind. khākī , lit., dusty, dust-colored, from Persian khāk dust.] Of a dull brownish yellow, or drab color; -- applied to cloth, originally to a stout brownish cotton cloth, used in making uniforms in the Anglo-Indian army. In the United States service the summer uniform of cotton is officially designated khaki ; the winter uniform of wool, olive drab .

Khaki noun Any kind of khaki cloth; hence, a uniform of khaki or, rarely, a soldier clad in khaki. In the United States and British armies khaki or cloth of a very similar color is almost exclusively used for service in the field.

Khaliff noun See Caliph .

Khamsin noun Same as Kamsin .

Khan noun [ Pers. & Tart. kh ā noun ] [ Also kan , kaun .] A king; a prince; a chief; a governor; -- so called among the Tartars, Turks, and Persians, and in countries now or formerly governed by them.

Khan noun [ Persian khān , khānah , house, tent, inn.] An Eastern inn or caravansary. [ Written also kawn .]

Khanate noun Dominion or jurisdiction of a khan.

Khaya noun (Botany) A lofty West African tree ( Khaya Senegalensis ), related to the mahogany, which it resembles in the quality of the wood. The bark is used as a febrifuge.

Khedive noun [ French khédive , Pers. khediw a prince.] A governor or viceroy; -- a title granted in 1867 by the sultan of Turkey to the ruler of Egypt.

Khenna noun See Henna .

Kholah noun (Zoology) The Indian jackal.

Kholsun noun (Zoology) The dhole.

Khond noun A Dravidian of a group of tribes of Orissa, India, a section of whom were formerly noted for their cruel human sacrifices to the earth goddess, murder of female infants, and marriage by capture.

Khutbah noun [ Arabic ] An address or public prayer read from the steps of the pulpit in Mohammedan mosques, offering glory to God, praising Mohammed and his descendants, and the ruling princes.