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1 definition found
 for Cipher key
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Cipher \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.]
     [1913 Webster]
     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.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. One who, or that which, has no weight or influence.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Here he was a mere cipher.            --W. Irving.
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     3. A character in general, as a figure or letter. [Obs.]
        [1913 Webster]
  
              This wisdom began to be written in ciphers and
              characters and letters bearing the forms of
              creatures.                            --Sir W.
                                                    Raleigh.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     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.
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     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.
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              His father . . . engaged him when he was very young
              to write all his letters to England in cipher. --Bp.
                                                    Burnet.
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     Cipher key, a key to assist in reading writings in cipher.
        [1913 Webster]

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