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cipher

IPA

How to pronounce cipher (audio)

Dictionary definition of cipher

A secret code or system of writing used to encrypt or conceal information.
"The cryptographer spent hours trying to crack the enemy's cipher."

Detailed meaning of cipher

In this context, ciphers have been employed throughout history for confidential communication, espionage, and security purposes. They involve the substitution of letters, symbols, or numbers to make the original message unintelligible to anyone who doesn't possess the decryption key. Ciphers have played significant roles in military operations, cryptography, and the transmission of sensitive information.

Additionally, "cipher" can also refer to a person or thing with little or no significance or value, often implying a lack of influence or importance. In this sense, it suggests something or someone who is unimportant, inconsequential, or insignificant. The word "cipher" is occasionally used in literature and conversation to describe individuals who blend into the background or contribute very little to a situation.

Example sentences of cipher

1. The spy used a cipher to encrypt his messages and protect sensitive information.
2. The young student found a passion for puzzles and ciphers, spending hours solving them.
3. The detective discovered a cipher hidden in the suspect's diary, which helped to solve the case.
4. The hacker used a cipher to bypass the security system and gain access to sensitive data.
5. The manuscript contained a mysterious cipher that puzzled scholars for centuries.
6. The team of codebreakers successfully deciphered the enemy's cipher and gained an advantage in the war.

History and etymology of cipher

The noun 'cipher' has a fascinating etymological history, originating from the Arabic word 'sifr,' which means 'zero' or 'empty.' In Arabic mathematics, 'sifr' referred to the concept of zero, a numeral with no intrinsic value on its own. This concept was introduced to Europe through the Arabic numerals in the Middle Ages. Over time, 'cipher' in English came to denote a numerical zero or a secret method of writing or encoding information. The idea of 'zero' being an empty, hidden value and the use of secret codes are intricately connected in the term 'cipher.' Thus, the etymology of 'cipher' reflects its historical association with both numerical emptiness and secret encoding, making it an apt word to describe a system of writing used to encrypt or conceal information.

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Further usage examples of cipher

1. The journalist uncovered a conspiracy using a cipher to hide messages in plain sight.
2. The ancient civilization used a unique cipher to record their history, which fascinated historians.
3. The mathematician developed a new cipher algorithm that was virtually unbreakable.
4. The treasure map was protected by a cipher that required a special key to decode.
5. The game designer included a cipher puzzle in the video game to challenge players.
6. The spy transmitted messages in an encrypted cipher, baffling his pursuers.
7. Cryptographers use advanced algorithms to decode complex ciphers.
8. The discovery of a mysterious cipher in an old manuscript sparked intrigue.
9. The criminal's ciphered notes revealed hidden plans.
10. Mathematicians love solving intricate numerical ciphers.
11. The intelligence agency employs a state-of-the-art cipher system.
12. The diary was filled with secret messages encoded in a personal cipher.
13. Cracking the enemy's cipher was a pivotal moment in the war.
14. He spent days trying to decipher the cryptic cipher.
15. The treasure chest contained a cipher key to a hidden vault.
16. During wartime, understanding enemy ciphers was crucial.
17. A mysterious book contained an undeciphered ciphered message.
18. The detective finally cracked the criminal's secret cipher.
19. The manuscript was a puzzle of ancient, indecipherable ciphers.
20. Her coded cipher remained an enigma to even the experts.
21. The ancient civilization used hieroglyphic ciphers to record their history.
22. The spies communicated securely using a complex cipher.
23. The codebreaker successfully decrypted the enemy's secret cipher.
24. Historians study historical ciphers to unravel past mysteries.
25. The cryptanalyst, renowned for breaking ciphers, tackled a new challenge.

Synonyms

encryption
hieroglyph
key
notation
secret
symbol

Quiz categories containing cipher

category

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Multiple Choice Game

Multiple Choice

Opposite Words Game

Opposite Words

Same or Different Game

Same/different

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Spelling Bee

eb68db_20644d9cc4514f67a8125e6927a9e61a.mp3

encryption,hieroglyph,key,notation,secret,symbol

algorithm,code,cryptogram,cryptograph,puzzle,script,shorthand

code, clarity, openness, transparency

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