Keyed In: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
August 28, 2023

"Keyed in" is a common idiom in English that means to enter data or information into a device or system using a keyboard or keypad. On the other hand, it can also mean being aware of, focused on, or involved with something.

In short:

  • It means to enter data or information into a device or system using a keyboard or keypad.
  • It can also mean being aware of, focused on, or involved with something.
  • It came from the idea of using a key to unlock or access something.

What Does "Keyed In" Mean?

The idiom "keyed in" has two primary meanings, depending on its use.

Let's look at each meaning in more detail:

  • The first meaning of "keyed in" is to enter data or information into a device or system using a keyboard or keypad. This can be a computer, a phone, a calculator, a security system, or any other machine that requires input from the user. For example, if you "key in" your credit card number, you enter it into the system to make a payment.
  • The second meaning of "keyed in" is to be aware of, focused on, or involved with something. This can be something that is happening around you, interests you, or affects you. For example, if you are "keyed into" the latest news, you follow and pay attention to what is happening worldwide.

Where Does "Keyed In" Come From?

The phrase "keyed in" as a verb meaning "to enter data using a keyboard or keypad" dates back to the late 20th century, when computers and other electronic devices became more widespread and popular. However, the word "key" has been used in English since the Old English period (before the 12th century), and it comes from the Proto-Germanic word "kaig-jo-," which means "a twisted thing."

10 Examples of "Keyed In" in Sentences

Here are some examples of using the idiom "keyed in" in different sentences, demonstrating different contexts and situations:

  • Yoink! She was so keyed in her studies that she didn't notice her phone ringing.
  • He keyed in his email address and clicked on the subscribe button.
  • They are not keyed in with the changes in the industry in these trying times.
  • She had to key in an extended code to access the secret files. Basic log-ins are not allowed.
  • He has constantly keyed in to his customers' needs and preferences. Rest assured that he handles them well.
  • She forgot to key in her PIN and had to try again. But then the ATM became out of service.
  • They were keyed in to each other's moods and could tell when something was wrong. They are a dynamic duo.
  • He keyed in some codes on the computer and showed me the result. He's such a tech-nerd.
  • She isn't keyed in to the latest trends and fashions. She's an old-skool gal.
  • Same old process. He had to key in his name and date of birth to register for the online course.

Examples of "Keyed In" in Pop Culture

The idiom "keyed in" has also been used in various forms of pop culture, such as movies, TV shows, songs, books, and games.

Here are some examples of how "keyed in" has appeared in pop culture:

  • In the song "Keyed" (2005) by Carrie Underwood, the singer narrates how she avenged her cheating boyfriend by vandalizing his car. She sings: "I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive."
  • In the movie "The Matrix" (1999), the character Neo is a hacker who is "keyed in" to the truth about the simulated reality he lives in.
  • In the TV show "Breaking Bad" (2008-2013), the character Jesse Pinkman, who is "keyed in" to the drug trade, helps Walter White distribute his product.
  • In the book "Ready Player One" (2011) by Ernest Cline, the protagonist Wade Watts is one of the millions of players who are "keyed in" to finding the keys and solving the puzzles that Halliday has left behind.

Other Ways to Say "Keyed In"

Here are some synonyms or alternatives for "keyed in":

  • For entering data or information into a device or system using a keyboard or keypad: typed in, inputted, entered, punched in, keyed up.
  • For being aware of, focused on, or involved with something: tuned in, clued in, plugged in, switched on, dialed in, on board, on track, on point, on top of things, in sync, in tune, in touch.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Keyed In"

Here are some frequently asked questions about the idiom "keyed in" and their answers:

  • What does "keyed in" mean?

"Keyed in" is a common idiom in English that means to enter data or information into a device or system using a keyboard or keypad. On the other hand, it can also mean being aware of, focused on, or involved with something.

  • What is the origin of "keyed in"?

The phrase "keyed in" as a verb meaning "to enter data using a keyboard or keypad" dates back to the late 20th century, when computers and other electronic devices became more widespread and popular.

  • What are some synonyms for "keyed in"?

Some synonyms for "keyed in" are typed in, inputted, entered, and punched in. More synonyms for the second definiton are tuned in, clued in, plugged in, switched on, dialed in, on board, on track, and on point.

  • How do you use "keyed in" correctly?

To use "keyed in" correctly, you must consider its meaning and context. If you want to say that you are aware of, focused on, or involved with something, you can use "keyed in" as an adjective followed by "to" or "on." Otherwise, if you want to say that you enter data or information into a device or system using a keyboard or keypad, you can use "keyed in" as a verb followed by an object.

  • How do you pronounce "keyed in"?

To pronounce "keyed in" correctly, you must say each word separately and clearly. "Keyed" has one syllable and rhymes with "seed." The term "in" has one syllable and rhymes with "win."

  • Is "keyed in" formal or informal?

The idiom "keyed in" is neither formal nor informal. It is a neutral expression used in casual and professional settings. However, depending on the context and tone, it can have different connotations.

  • What is the opposite of "keyed in"?

The opposite of "keyed in" can vary depending on the meaning and context. For being aware of, focused on, or involved with something, some possible opposites are: tuned out, clueless, oblivious, distracted, disengaged, uninterested, uninformed, or out of the loop. Some possible opposites for entering data or information into a device or system using a keyboard or keypad are: deleted, erased, removed, cleared, or wiped out.

  • How do you use "keyed in" in a question?

To use "keyed in" in a question, you have to follow the same rules as using it in a statement. You have to consider its meaning and context, and use the appropriate grammar and punctuation.

  • What are some common mistakes when using "keyed in"?

Some common mistakes when using "keyed in" are: Using the wrong preposition after "keyed," using the wrong tense or form of "keyed," using the wrong spelling of "keyed," and using the wrong punctuation or capitalization of "keyed."

  • How popular is the word "keyed in"?

The word "keyed in" is a common idiom in English, but it is not very popular compared to other words or phrases. It has a meager usage rate, less than 0.00001% of all terms, and has declined since the 1990s.

Final Thoughts About "Keyed In"

"Keyed in" is a valuable and versatile idiom that can express different meanings and situations.

Key points to remember about the idiom:

  • It pertains to entering data or information into a device or system using a keyboard or keypad.
  • It can also mean being aware of, focused on, or involved with something.
  • It can be used in different contexts and situations, both literally and figuratively.

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