plain·​text | \ ˈplān-ˌtekst How to pronounce plaintext (audio) \

Definition of plaintext

: the intelligible form of an encrypted text or of its elements — compare ciphertext

Examples of plaintext in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Another potential method might make small changes to the plaintext to call it to leak to a server. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Decade-old Efail attack can decrypt previously obtained encrypted emails," 14 May 2018 The first gang planted plaintext JavaScript on the site that caused it to send payment card information to the attackers as customers were completing a sale. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "E-commerce site is infected not by one, but two card skimmers," 20 Nov. 2018 The passphrase was stored in plaintext in a configuration file. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Sennheiser discloses monumental blunder that cripples HTTPS on PCs and Macs," 28 Nov. 2018 In tests of 35 S/MIME email clients, the researchers found that 25 had plaintext exfiltration weaknesses. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "Encrypted Email Has a Major, Divisive Flaw," 14 May 2018 Heck, even the creator of PGP (OK, GPG, for you pedants), Phil Zimmerman himself, asked us back in 2014 to resend something to him in plaintext. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Here’s how to send Ars confidential information, securely," 2 June 2018 From there, the Xfinity customer’s name and password were available in plaintext and could be changed, locking the customer out of their own Wi-Fi router. Lisa Marie Segarra, Fortune, "Xfinity Customers’ Wi-Fi Passwords Leaked by Comcast Bug," 23 May 2018 Look, even writing things down by hand and protecting the paper or book at home is more secure (for most people) than storing data in plaintext. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "People, Please Don’t Store Private Data in Your Address Book," 2 Sep. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plaintext.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of plaintext

1918, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for plaintext

The first known use of plaintext was in 1918

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More from Merriam-Webster on plaintext

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plaintext Encyclopedia article about plaintext

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to form ideas or theories about something

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