steg·​a·​nog·​ra·​phy ˌste-gə-ˈnä-grə-fē How to pronounce steganography (audio)
archaic : cryptography
: the art or practice of concealing a message, image, or file within another message, image, or file
steganographic adjective

Did you know?

Steganography is a word that was resurrected after being in disuse for almost 150 years! It was put to rest in the early 1800s, labeled an archaic synonym of "cryptography" by dictionary makers, but was brought back to life in the 1980s as a word for a type of digital cryptography. There is nothing cryptic about the word's origin; it is based on the Greek word steganos, meaning "covered" or "reticent."

Examples of steganography in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The security flaw relies on steganography—the practice of hiding a message within another message. IEEE Spectrum, 16 Jan. 2015 Szczypiorski calls his program StegIbiza — steganography perfect for Ibiza. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 24 Aug. 2016 But if Russian espionage seems old school, steganography is older still. Joseph Calamia, Discover Magazine, 2 July 2010 Using steganography to hide their communications in plain sight. Dipesh Ranjan, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2023 Although Easter eggs — covert messages planted within books, video games, films, TV shows and songs, or on social media — are now part of the cultural fun, steganography began as an early fight for free speech. Nick Haramis, New York Times, 13 Jan. 2023 Threat actors may use steganography—a technique for hiding messages within other messages or files—to conceal their communications from a threat intelligence platform. Dipesh Ranjan, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2023 Szczypiorski’s technique fits in with the long tradition of steganography — the practice of hiding secret messages in plain sight. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 24 Aug. 2016 Stegmap malware uses steganography, the hiding of code within an ordinary-looking image file to evade detection. Davey Winder, Forbes, 3 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History


New Latin steganographia, from Greek steganos covered, reticent (from stegein to cover) + Latin -graphia -graphy — more at thatch

First Known Use

1985, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of steganography was in 1985


Dictionary Entries Near steganography

Cite this Entry

“Steganography.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

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