Playfair cipher


Definition of Playfair cipher

: a cipher involving a digraphic substitution from a single alphabet square which begins with the letters of a keyword and continues with the remaining letters of the alphabet less J

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for Playfair cipher

after Lyon, Baron Playfair †1898 British scientist & public official

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Playfair cipher

Statistics for Playfair cipher

Cite this Entry

“Playfair cipher.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

Comments on Playfair cipher

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!