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KEY. An instrument made for shutting and opening a lock.
     2. The keys of a house are considered as real estate, and descend to the heir with the inheritance. But see 5 Blackf. 417.
     3. When the keys of a warehouse are delivered to a purchaser of goods locked up there, with a view of effecting a delivery of such goods, the delivery is complete. The doctrine of the civil law is the same. Dig. lib. 41, t. 1, 1. 9, Sec. 6; and lib. 18, t. 1, 1. 74.

KEY, estates. A wharf at which to land goods from, or to load them in a vessel. This word is now generally spelled Quay, from the French, quai.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
In a very little while there was no longer any doubt that Peter Featherstone was dead, with his right hand clasping the keys, and his left hand lying on the heap of notes and gold.
There was, therefore, only a little to be done to this key.
Bed-time came again, and found her placed between the two alternatives of trusting to the doubtful chances of the next morning, or of trying the keys boldly in the dead of night.
"Mean and shabby, eh?" returns the lawyer, rubbing his nose with the key.
'You had better let me have the key then,' says Durdles.
"Any news of Miss Verinder's keys?" asked the Sergeant.
The key of my desk, in fact, was at that moment in the lock, and the others were attached to it.
When Fouquet had satisfied himself that Baisemeaux had reached the bottom of the staircase, he inserted the key in the first lock.
I looked for the key, but it was not in the lock, and I could not find it anywhere.
He rose and moved cautiously toward the opposite end of the table where lay the coveted key. The fettered ankle halted his first step, but he stretched at full length along the table, extending eager fingers toward the prize.
Whatever else of mischief De Vac might be up to, Brus was quite sure that in so far as the King was concerned, the key to the postern gate was as safe in De Vac's hands as though Henry himself had it.
Rushworth wished he had brought the key; he had been very near thinking whether he should not bring the key; he was determined he would never come without the key again; but still this did not remove the present evil.