1

cipher

play
noun, often attributive ci·pher \ˈsī-fər\

Definition of cipher

  1. 1 a :  zero 1a b :  one that has no weight, worth, or influence :  nonentity

  2. 2 a :  a method of transforming a text in order to conceal its meaning — compare code 3b b :  a message in code

  3. 3 :  arabic numeral

  4. 4 :  a combination of symbolic letters; especially :  the interwoven initials of a name

Examples of cipher in a sentence

  1. a cipher that can't be decoded

  2. She was nothing more than a cipher.

Origin and Etymology of cipher

Middle English, from Medieval Latin cifra, from Arabic ṣifr empty, cipher, zero


First Known Use: 14th century


2

cipher

verb ci·pher

Definition of cipher

ciphered

ciphering

play \-f(ə-)riŋ\
  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to use figures in a mathematical process

  3. transitive verb
  4. 1 :  encipher

  5. 2 :  to compute arithmetically

Examples of cipher in a sentence

  1. <were surprised by how much we had spent on the cruise after we had ciphered out the grand total>

Circa 1530

First Known Use of cipher

circa 1530


CIPHER Defined for English Language Learners

1

cipher

play
noun, often attributive ci·pher \ˈsī-fər\

Definition of cipher for English Language Learners

  • : a way of changing a message to keep it secret

  • : a person who has no power or is not important


CIPHER Defined for Kids

1

cipher

play
noun ci·pher \ˈsī-fər\

Definition of cipher for Students

  1. 1 :  zero 1

  2. 2 :  a method of secret writing or the alphabet or letters and symbols used in such writing

  3. 3 :  a message in code


2

cipher

play
verb ci·pher

Definition of cipher for Students

ciphered

ciphering

  1. :  to use figures in doing a problem in arithmetic :  calculate



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