from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A key for opening several locks; a master-key; a skeleton key.
  • noun A latch-key.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A key for opening more locks than one; a master key.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun key that secures entrance everywhere


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • Since March 4, 1933, there has been only one pass-key to the White House.

    David O. Russell: FDR Said It All in 1936 -- Who Will Follow in His Steps Today?

  • It took him two minutes to select the pass-key and determine how it worked, then the doors flew open one after another in quick succession.

    In The Time Of Light

  • He fumbled in his waistcoat pocket, drew out a sort of a pass-key, opened the door, entered, closed it again carefully, and ascended the staircase, still carrying Cosette.

    Les Miserables

  • He had, and always carried about him, a pass-key which opened a little side-door; but he must have been searched, and his latch-key must have been taken from him.

    Les Miserables

  • He had implied that she should use her beauty, impaired though it was, as a pass-key.

    Wessex Tales

  • Here he conjectured it would be proper to wait; nor had he been stationary above five minutes, when the cook, scalded as much with heat of motion as ever he had been by his huge fire-place, arrived almost breathless, and with his pass-key hastily locked the wicket behind him.

    The Fortunes of Nigel

  • “We want nothing but the pass-key,” said Miss Bellenden;

    Old Mortality

  • The attendant admitted them by means of a pass-key.

    The Fortunes of Nigel

  • "There hasn't been a pass-key since eighty-eight," she told him.

    The Lunatic Fringe

  • A pass-key turned in the lock of the chalet door and the chambermaid came in.

    The Murder of Busy Lizzie


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