The keeper of the keys in a prison; a jailer.


1. Supplied, installed, or purchased in a condition ready for immediate use, occupation, or operation: a turnkey computer system; a turnkey housing project.

2. Of or relating to something supplied, installed, or purchased in this manner: a turnkey agreement.

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.



archaic a keeper of the keys, esp in a prison; warder or jailer


(Civil Engineering) denoting a project, as in civil engineering, in which a single contractor has responsibility for the complete job from the start to the time of installation or occupancy

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



n., pl. -keys,
adj. n.

1. a person who has charge of the keys of a prison; jailer.


2. ready for occupancy when turned over to the owner: turnkey housing.

3. fully equipped; ready to go into operation: a turnkey power plant.


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