Definition of cryptography
1 : secret writing
2 : the enciphering and deciphering of messages in secret code or cipher; also : the computerized encoding and decoding of information
3 : cryptanalysis
cryptography was our Word of the Day on 05/25/2011. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of cryptography in a Sentence
Companies often use cryptography to protect private information.
Recent Examples of cryptography from the Web
Such work might seem abstruse to outsiders, but uses abound, from cosmology to cryptography.
While highly theoretical, her work had implications for quantum field theory and theoretical physics as well as engineering, prime numbers and cryptography.
Her work is already widely influential in mathematics, with possible future use in engineering, cryptography and theoretical physics, including studies of the origin of the universe.
As Matt Blaze, a cryptography professor at the University of Pennsylvania tweeted:
Founder and CEO Eugene Kaspersky studied cryptography, programming and mathematics at an academy operated by the KGB, the FSB’s Soviet-era predecessor, then worked for the Ministry of Defense.
At the moment, practical quantum cryptography is limited to transmission distances of single photons down an optical fiber: about 70-100km.
And Micius isn't China's only foray into quantum cryptography.
Tomorrow's encryption, needed today While China is the undisputed leader in quantum cryptography, Canada is also pursuing a quantum satellite, expected to launch in four to five years.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cryptography.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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 and Etymology of cryptography
New Latin cryptographia, from crypt- + -graphia -graphy
First Known Use: 1646See Words from the same year
CRYPTOGRAPHY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of cryptography for English Language Learners
: the process of writing or reading secret messages or codes
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).