Definition of keynote in English:



  • 1A prevailing tone or central theme.

    ‘individuality is the keynote of the Nineties’
    • ‘Many times I have experienced ringing cell phones in the middle of my keynote presentations.’
    • ‘The buzz of menace the incident initially transmits, though, sounds a keynote.’
    • ‘There were keynote addresses, and smaller seminars and workshops.’
    • ‘He was attending an event in Hong Kong where he delivered a keynote speech.’
    • ‘The actual content of his speech was pretty close to zero, but that's fine for a convention keynote.’
    • ‘Education, health, freedom from crime and improvements to the places where children live are keynotes for the organisation.’
    • ‘The keynote for the tone of the series was a credible representation of the lives of its three central characters.’
    • ‘The eight keynote presentations were enthusiastically received by the more than 600 conference delegates.’
    • ‘An estimated 10,000 to 20,000 participated in the demonstration while the prime minister was delivering his annual keynote economic speech.’
    • ‘It has that lick of elegance that is the keynote of New Zealand red, the sort of wine that stands proudly on the table and always tastes of ‘more please’.’
    • ‘Individuality, as everywhere in the castle, is the keynote.’
    • ‘The seminar will include keynote lectures and technical papers, a discussion section, and short-term courses.’
    • ‘With a new band, spontaneity will be the keynote.’
    • ‘She is a successful, nationally recognized conference keynote speaker and entertainer.’
    • ‘This is the keynote, leading to a prolonged examination of how writers have used narrative technique in order to provide aspects of what we guess about consciousness.’
    • ‘The keynote of the meeting was outrage rather than compassion.’
    • ‘That pitch might have been better made against a track record of unimpeachable integrity, where promises had been kept, failure openly acknowledged, and honesty had been the keynote of his government.’
    • ‘He is likely to make economic regeneration and social inclusion keynotes of his tenure.’
    • ‘More than that, though, it has laid a marker for a style of game which has innovation, pace and persistence as its keynotes.’
    • ‘Curiously, for a politician who made much of the fact that what happened in the rest of the world was not always Washington's concern, diplomacy has been the keynote of his first months in office.’
    theme, salient point, point, gist, substance, burden, tenor, heart of the matter, pith, marrow, topic, policy line
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    1. 1.1as modifier (of a speech) setting out the central theme of a conference.
      ‘he delivered the keynote address’
      • ‘The event will include study visits in and around Manchester, keynote speeches, workshops, master classes, fringe events and a major exhibition.’
      • ‘In his keynote speech to conference on Tuesday, Mr Howard pressed all the right buttons.’
      • ‘In his keynote speech to Labour's conference in Brighton, the Prime Minister will underline the importance of shaking up the way public services are delivered.’
      • ‘He is returning in June when he will give the keynote speech at the first Scottish e-learning industry conference.’
      • ‘In less than three years he's become a national figure, visiting 300 organisations and giving 150 keynote speeches.’
      • ‘Following a series of keynote speeches, delegates took part in workshops discussing the issue.’
      • ‘The prime minister used his keynote speech at Labour's spring conference in Gateshead to acknowledge it was largely his fault that his bond with the public had frayed.’
      • ‘The five-star Lowry Hotel will be used for keynote speeches and debates.’
      • ‘Prime Ministers' keynote conference speeches usually address two audiences - the delegates in the hall and the wider world outside.’
      • ‘I may have also neglected to mention that I am going to Australia to deliver my first ever keynote speech.’
      • ‘The conference was mostly composed of panel discussions and keynote speeches.’
      • ‘The three working days of the conference were wall-to-wall keynote speeches, which, for the press at least, were punctuated by press conferences which were often better value.’
      • ‘I want to hang out with my same old friends, but at the same time I want to talk to people who are giving keynote speeches at conferences to ask them for tips and advice and so forth.’
      • ‘The shadow chancellor used his keynote speech at the conference to lay to rest calls for the party to differentiate itself from Labour by outlining a timetable for lower taxation.’
      • ‘And you think about it, you're going to be addressing the entire American people Tuesday night when you deliver this keynote speech.’
      • ‘The conference began with keynote speeches from Kurzwiel and Tapscott.’
      • ‘The first one would be like a first draft of a Progressive Democrat conference keynote speech, and the second is like a homily from a stern and admonishing bishop.’
      • ‘She admitted to being nervous about delivering this particular keynote speech.’
      • ‘I was there to give the keynote speech at a conference on petroleum, and I've had certain influence in the area recently.’
      • ‘The humble-sounding Tory leader, in his keynote speech to the party conference in Bournemouth, pledged to make accountability his watchword and said they could deliver.’
  • 2Music
    The note on which a key is based.

    • ‘Studies of tonality have shown that listeners agree on the keynote of a musical excerpt and that the listeners in turn agree with the composer.’
    • ‘In every type of musical scale, the notes progress in a series of intervals from a keynote to the octave above or below.’
    • ‘The candidate will hum or sing and afterwards name the interval of the second, third, fourth or fifth of the major scale as played by the examiner, in succession to the keynote.’
    • ‘All three forms have in common the flattened third scale degree, producing a characteristic minor 3rd with the keynote.’
    • ‘They also should be able to sing the keynote of a tonal pattern or song presented by the teacher.’