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Engrooved isn't a word, so I'm looking for something that carries its meaning. Engraved, accustomed, and other synonyms don't express the same meaning. I'm looking for a word that carries the meaning "fitted to something". E.g.,

The keys were engrooved to the fingers.

Edit: so "adapted over time" is the best fit so far (thanks to FumbleFingers). If anyone has a better way to express this, I'd love to hear it.

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  • Do you mean "the keys were grooved into the fingers?" ["truck operaters drive on the "warning bumps" grooved into the shoulder of the highway to vibrate off their fenderburgs."; "A character line refers to any raised, continuous, body side crease grooved into the side of a car to give it visual interest."
    – Kris
    Jan 1 '13 at 14:24
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    Can you give an alternative example? Why would anyone talk about keys engrooved to fingers?. Keys are usually made to exactly fit locks, not fingers. Jan 1 '13 at 14:26
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    It would help if you could at least clarify whether you mean designed to be a "good fit" at time of creation (such as ergonomic car seats), or adapted/worn over time (sometimes deliberately) so as to be a good fit (such as the ass groove in Homer Simpson's sofa) Jan 1 '13 at 14:45
  • Does "enclosed" ring any bells? I am not too sure but it seems pretty close to what you are looking for.
    – Mohit
    Jan 1 '13 at 15:08
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    @FumbleFingers: the other keys :-). yes, adapted over time is exactly what I wish to express.
    – Syn help
    Jan 1 '13 at 18:41
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I think you have a false premise here. Merriam-Webster Online certainly has an entry for engroove:

transitive verb. : to fit or form into a groove.

I’d say that that makes it “count as a word” in most people’s books. And it certainly makes sense.

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Worn is probably the word your looking for. "The keys have been worn to his fingers from 50 years of playing", or something like that.

Engrooved has more the idea of grooves being put in something. It would be similar to engrave, but it is more the idea of precision machining (A machined groove), whereas engrave is more precision art.


Response to Edit: Broken in is another one that would fit. This has more the idea of a glove that is initially stiff and becomes pliable by using it. Using it customizes it to the user.

3
  • I'm not convinced keyboard users (typists or musicians) would actually want their keys to become "worn" at all, but I think in practice that would be the most likely word to use for that exact context. For other similar contexts where you really do want something along those lines I think bedded in would often be appropriate. Jan 1 '13 at 19:57
  • The example presented wasn't the greatest, sorry. No, worn isn't suitable. (Sorry about my pickiness!) As I've said, adapted over time is what I wish to express, but doubt that can be done in one word. Thanks for everyone's help; this community is pretty swell.
    – Syn help
    Jan 1 '13 at 20:16
  • @Synhelp, I've edited my answer. "Broken in" is the closest thing I can think of. It basically has that idea. Jan 1 '13 at 22:07
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Assuming you’re asking about the way the keys of a keyboard fit ones’ fingers, you can say,

the keys are form-fitted to the user’s fingers

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  • Yes, but I wish to describe that the keys have become fitted to the fingers. But, fitting isn't the best word here, which is why we're here.
    – Syn help
    Jan 1 '13 at 18:46
  • pretty much. Adapted over time, suggested by Fumble fingers, is the meaning I'm looking for. (TFD says about groove: a settled and monotonous routine.)
    – Syn help
    Jan 1 '13 at 20:13
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  • Molded may fit if this is a soft, moldable material such as plastic.
  • Formed is often used this way generically.
  • Sculpted or rounded may be appropriate as well.
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  • It should have been a comment rather than an answer since you have given four of them without any surety (you have used "may" a lot) and without any explanations for at least three of them.
    – Mohit
    Jan 1 '13 at 15:00
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    @Mohit: In this context, all 4 words mean just about the same thing, and they all seem to refer to what the OP was referring to, a keyboard, not a Schlüssel or a clé. And because the OP gave no concrete context, may is the only appropriate neutral word. Who can judge what's appropriate? Only the OP, it seems to me.
    – user21497
    Jan 1 '13 at 15:19
  • @BillFranke, of course, a keyboard! that makes sense now! Jan 1 '13 at 15:29
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    @K: That's what 15 years of daily editing of non-native-speaker English will do for you. You get good at guessing what writers want to say but don't. Sometimes, though, the murk's too thick to penetrate.
    – user21497
    Jan 1 '13 at 15:34
  • All decent synonyms, although none are fully suitable for my context.
    – Syn help
    Jan 1 '13 at 18:48
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I've heard wear worn before, but that would be more for clothing. For something durable, perhaps yielded: Over the years, the ivory piano keys yielded to the form of his fingers.

1
  • If it takes years for your piano keys to yield, you're going to have difficulty playing in the meantime.
    – user867
    Jan 2 '13 at 0:55

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