Cipher

Definition of Cipher

Ci´pher
n.1.
1.(Arith.) A character [0] which, standing by itself, expresses nothing, but when placed at the right hand of a whole number, increases its value tenfold.
2.One who, or that which, has no weight or influence.
Here he was a mere cipher.
- W. Irving.
3.A character in general, as a figure or letter.
This wisdom began to be written in ciphers and characters and letters bearing the forms of creatures.
- Sir W. Raleigh.
4.A combination or interweaving of letters, as the initials of a name; a device; a monogram; as, a painter's cipher, an engraver's cipher, etc. The cut represents the initials N. W.
5.A private alphabet, system of characters, or other mode of writing, contrived for the safe transmission of secrets; also, a writing in such characters.
His father . . . engaged him when he was very young to write all his letters to England in cipher.
- Bp. Burnet.
Cipher key
a key to assist in reading writings in cipher.
a.1.Of the nature of a cipher; of no weight or influence.
v. i.1.To use figures in a mathematical process; to do sums in arithmetic.
[imp. & p. p. Ciphered ; p. pr. & vb. n. Ciphering.]
"T was certain he could write and cipher too.
- Goldsmith.
v. t.1.To write in occult characters.
His notes he ciphered with Greek characters.
- Hayward.
2.To get by ciphering; as, to cipher out the answer.
3.To decipher.
4.To designate by characters.

Related Words

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