pub·​lic-key ˈpə-blik-ˈkē How to pronounce public-key (audio)
often attributive
: a cryptographic element that is the publicly shared half of an encryption code and that can be used only to encode messages

Examples of public-key in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Lost in the Trees Regev began his academic career in the late 1990s, when cryptographers were searching for a new form of public-key cryptography that wasn’t vulnerable to Shor’s algorithm. Ben Brubaker, Quanta Magazine, 17 Oct. 2023 That technology is also what makes security keys vulnerable to quantum attacks, because all current forms of public-key cryptography are expected to be easily broken by quantum computers. IEEE Spectrum, 29 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'public-key.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1976, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of public-key was in 1976

Dictionary Entries Near public-key

Cite this Entry

“Public-key.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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