Definitions for: Cipher


[n] a message written in a secret code
[n] a secret method of writing
[n] a person of no influence
[n] a quantity of no importance; "it looked like nothing I had ever seen before"; "reduced to nil all the work we had done"; "we racked up a pathetic goose egg"; "it was all for naught"; "I didn't hear zilch about it"
[n] a mathematical element that when added to another number yields the same number
[v] make a mathematical calculation or computation
[v] convert ordinary language into code; "We should encode the message for security reasons"



Webster (1913) Definition: Ci"pher, n. [OF. cifre zero, F. Chiffre figure (cf. Sp.
cifra, LL. cifra), fr. Ar. [,c]ifrun, [,c]afrun, empty,
cipher, zero, fr. [,c]afira to be empty. Cf. Zero.]
1. (Arith.) A character [0] which, standing by itself,
expresses nothing, but when placed at the right hand of a
whole number, increases its value tenfold.

2. One who, or that which, has no weight or influence.

Here he was a mere cipher. --W. Irving.

3. A character in general, as a figure or letter. [Obs.]

This wisdom began to be written in ciphers and
characters and letters bearing the forms of
creatures. --Sir W.
Raleigh.

4. A combination or interweaving of letters, as the initials
of a name; a device; a monogram; as, a painter's cipher,
an engraver's cipher, etc. The cut represents the initials
N. W.

5. A private alphabet, system of characters, or other mode of
writing, contrived for the safe transmission of secrets;
also, a writing in such characters.

His father . . . engaged him when he was very young
to write all his letters to England in cipher. --Bp.
Burnet.

Cipher key, a key to assist in reading writings in cipher.


Ci"pher, a.
Of the nature of a cipher; of no weight or influence.
``Twelve cipher bishops.'' --Milton.


Ci"pher, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Ciphered; p. pr. & vb.
n. Ciphering.]
To use figures in a mathematical process; to do sums in
arithmetic.

``T was certain he could write and cipher too.
--Goldsmith.


Ci"pher, v. t.
1. To write in occult characters.

His notes he ciphered with Greek characters.
--Hayward.

2. To get by ciphering; as, to cipher out the answer.

3. To decipher. [Obs.] --Shak.

4. To designate by characters. [Obs.] --Shak.

Synonyms: 0, aught, calculate, code, compute, cryptograph, cypher, cypher, cypher, cypher, cypher, encipher, encode, encrypt, figure, goose egg, inscribe, nada, naught, nil, nix, nobody, nonentity, nothing, nought, null, reckon, secret code, work out, write in code, zero, zilch, zip

Antonyms: decipher, decode, decrypt

See Also: add, add together, approximate, average, average out, bet, budget, bugger all, capitalise, capitalize, code, common man, common person, commoner, count, deduct, depend, differentiate, digit, divide, estimate, extract, extrapolate, factor, factor in, factor out, Fanny Adams, figure, figure out, fraction, fuck all, gauge, guess, integrate, interpolate, jackanapes, judge, lick, lightweight, look, message, miscalculate, misestimate, multiply, nihil, pip-squeak, process, prorate, puzzle out, quantise, quantize, reason, recalculate, relative quantity, resolve, small fry, solve, squirt, subtract, survey, sweet Fanny Adams, take off, whippersnapper, work, write

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