cryptarithm

noun cryp·ta·rithm \ ˈkrip-tə-ˌri-t͟həm \
|Updated on: 12 Jun 2018

Definition of cryptarithm

: an arithmetic problem in which letters have been substituted for numbers and which is solved by finding all possible pairings of digits with letters that produce a numerically correct answer

Origin and Etymology of cryptarithm

crypt- + -arithm (as in logarithm), after French cryptarithmie, alluding to either such problems collectively or to the branch of mathematics dealing with them
Note: The word cryptarithm was apparently introduced by the Minsk-born Belgian mathematician Maurice Kraitchik (1882-1957) in Mathematical Recreations (New York, 1942), pp. 79-80. Kraitchik states that he has translated French cryptarithmie as "cryptarithmetic," but then refers to an arithmetical operation in which letters have been substituted for numbers as a "cryptarithm." The word cryptarithmie was allegedly introduced by the Belgian mathematician Simon Vatriquant (1892-1966), under the pseudonym "Minos," in the May, 1931, issue of Sphinx: Revue mensuelle des questions récréatives.


Learn More about cryptarithm


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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