from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A key for opening a door that is fitted with a night-latch.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Not a living creature was to be seen, save the dissipated family cat -- a very Lovelace of a cat that was not allowed a night-key -- who was sitting on the curbstone opposite, waiting for the hall door to be opened.

    Humorous Masterpieces from American Literature

  • After dragging his body into a dark alley, so that he might not be found by the watchman, I rifled his pockets of their contents, among which was the night-key of his house, which I regarded as a prize of inestimable value.

    City Crimes or Life in New York and Boston

  • 'Leaving the corpse of Mr. Ross in the alley, I went straight to his house in Howard street, and admitted myself by means of the night-key which I had found in his pocket.

    City Crimes or Life in New York and Boston

  • Lizzie stood quietly by him for a short while, and then walked on tiptoe to the door -- "It is George," said she, after peering into the gloom of their entry; "he has admitted him self with his night-key."

    The Garies and Their Friends

  • Mr. Jennings's night-key it must have been, to be sure!

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 05, No. 29, March, 1860

  • He ascended the steps of 545, let himself in with a night-key, and a moment later the gas in the upper front room was turned on, showing Mr. Rosenbaum's surmise to be correct.

    That Mainwaring Affair

  • When you come home tonight you knock; no more tiptoe, night-key business like last time.

    Humoresque A Laugh on Life with a Tear Behind It

  • By every right and by every moral evidence the man was strictly sober; and, therefore, it caused his friends all the more anguish to see him shake hands with the pump and try to wind his watch with his night-key.

    Sketches New And Old

  • Should I proceed to fall in love just to see if it would go to my head, and should it do so, my Dulcina del Toboso might marry me before I recovered my mental equipoise, and I would awaken to find my liberty a has-been and my night-key non est.

    The Complete Works of Brann the Iconoclast, Volume 10

  • He came home late one evening from church meeting, letting himself into the parsonage with his night-key, and, not seeing his wife in the sitting-room, where she was in the habit of reading and sewing, he walked on into the small sewing-room, where she sometimes sat at special work, thinking to find her there.

    The Crucifixion of Philip Strong


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