Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

cryptography

play
noun cryp·tog·ra·phy \krip-ˈtä-grə-fē\

Simple Definition of cryptography

  • : the process of writing or reading secret messages or codes

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of cryptography

  1. 1 :  secret writing

  2. 2 :  the enciphering and deciphering of messages in secret code or cipher; also :  the computerized encoding and decoding of information

  3. 3 :  cryptanalysis

Examples of cryptography in a sentence

  1. Companies often use cryptography to protect private information.



Did You Know?

For a word having to do with secrets, "cryptography" has a surprisingly transparent etymology. The word traces back to the Greek roots kryptos, meaning "hidden," and graphein, meaning "to write." "Kryptos" - which in turn traces to the Greek verb kryptein, meaning "to hide" - is a root shared by several English words, including "crypt," "cryptic," and "encrypt." "Krypton," the name of a colorless gaseous element used especially in some fluorescent lamps and photography flashes, also comes from "kryptos." The name was chosen because the gas is rare and hard to find.

Origin of cryptography

New Latin cryptographia, from crypt- + -graphia -graphy


First Known Use: 1658



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cryptography? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the range of perception or understanding

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

disapprove perplex soothe reduce
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ