Word of the Day : May 25, 2011


noun krip-TAH-gruh-fee


: the enciphering and deciphering of messages in secret code or cipher; also : the computerized encoding and decoding of information

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.


Effective cryptography is essential for secure exchanges of sensitive information in cyberspace.

"At the same time, he was receiving extensive training in cryptography -- something he will still describe only in general terms, so as not to run afoul of the Official Secrets Act." -- From an article by Chris Wilson in Slate, May 17, 2011

Word Family Quiz

Fill in the blanks to create a relative of "cryptography" meaning "of doubtful authenticity": aorpa_. The answer is ...


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