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Definition of "cipher" [ci•pher]

  • The mathematical symbol (0) denoting absence of quantity; zero. (noun)
  • An Arabic numeral or figure; a number. (noun)
  • One having no influence or value; a nonentity. (noun)
  • A cryptographic system in which units of plain text of regular length, usually letters, are arbitrarily transposed or substituted according to a predetermined code. (noun)
  • The key to such a system. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "cipher" in a sentence
  • "And "cipher" is the nom de guerre of Le Chiffre, the numbers-man racketeer of the French Communist Party and perhaps the most odiously sadistic of Fleming's villains."
  • "Eyeballing the incomplete key so far, there do seem to be some obvious glyph clusters, and I should note the possibility that solving the substitution cipher is only step one."
  • "Put in cipher #2 in slot 1 so you are going to (2,0)."