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Meaning of Ciher


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  • A method of transforming a text in order to conceal its meaning.
          The message was written in a simple cipher. Anyone could figure it out.
  • Ciphertext; a message concealed via a cipher.
          The message is clearly a cipher, but I can't figure it out.
  • A design of interlacing initials: a decorative design consisting of a set of interlaced initials
  • (music) A fault in an organ valve which causes a pipe to sound continuously without the key having been pressed.
  • (dated) Someone or something of no importance.
          You are just a cipher to me.
  • A hip-hop jam session
  • (regional and/or dated) To calculate.
          I never learned much more than how to read and cipher.
- The Nuttall Encyclopedia



Ci"pher (?), n. [OF. cifre zero, F. Chiffre figure (cf. Sp. cifra, LL. cifra), fr. Ar. çifrun, çafrun, empty, cipher, zero, fr. çafira 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.

- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)



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The correct spelling of this word ought to be: Cipher

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