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7 definitions found
 for cipher
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Cipher \Ci"pher\, a.
     Of the nature of a cipher; of no weight or influence. "Twelve
     cipher bishops." --Milton.
     [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Cipher \Ci"pher\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Ciphered; p. pr. & vb.
     n. Ciphering.]
     To use figures in a mathematical process; to do sums in
     [1913 Webster]
           'T was certain he could write and cipher too.
     [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Cipher \Ci"pher\, v. t.
     1. To write in occult characters.
        [1913 Webster]
              His notes he ciphered with Greek characters.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. To get by ciphering; as, to cipher out the answer.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. To decipher. [Obs.] --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
     4. To designate by characters. [Obs.] --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]

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.
        [1913 Webster]
     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.
        [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.
        [1913 Webster]
     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.
        [1913 Webster]
              His father . . . engaged him when he was very young
              to write all his letters to England in cipher. --Bp.
        [1913 Webster]
     Cipher key, a key to assist in reading writings in cipher.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: a message written in a secret code [syn: cipher,
      2: a mathematical element that when added to another number
         yields the same number [syn: zero, 0, nought, cipher,
      3: 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" [syn: nothing, nil, nix,
         nada, null, aught, cipher, cypher, goose egg,
         naught, zero, zilch, zip, zippo]
      4: a person of no influence [syn: cipher, cypher, nobody,
      5: a secret method of writing [syn: cipher, cypher,
         cryptograph, secret code]
      v 1: convert ordinary language into code; "We should encode the
           message for security reasons" [syn: code, encipher,
           cipher, cypher, encrypt, inscribe, write in code]
      2: make a mathematical calculation or computation [syn:
         calculate, cipher, cypher, compute, work out,
         reckon, figure]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  175 Moby Thesaurus words for "cipher":
     Aesopian language, Babel, Greek, John Hancock, X, a nobody,
     a nothing, add, algebraize, allegory, alphabetic character, argot,
     aught, autograph, babble, binary digit, bit, break, calculate,
     cant, cast, character, charactery, christcross, clear up, code,
     coded message, common man, compute, conventional symbol,
     countermark, countersign, countersignature, counterstamp, cross,
     cryptoanalysis, cryptoanalytics, cryptogram, cryptograph,
     cryptographer, cryptography, decipher, device, digit, divide,
     dope out, double Dutch, dud, dummy, emblem, encipher, encode,
     endorsement, estimate, extract roots, figure, figure in,
     figure out, figurehead, garble, gibberish, gift of tongues,
     glossolalia, gobbledygook, goose egg, graph, grapheme, hand,
     hollow man, iconology, ideogram, initials, insignificancy, integer,
     invisible ink, jackstraw, jargon, jumble, lay figure, letter,
     lexigraphic character, lightweight, little fellow, little guy,
     logogram, logotype, love knot, man of straw, mark,
     mark of signature, measure, mediocrity, monogram, multiply, nada,
     naught, nebbish, nichts, nihil, nil, nix, no such thing, nobody,
     nobody one knows, noise, nonentity, notation, nothing,
     nothing at all, nothing on earth, nothing whatever, nullity,
     number, numeral, numero, obscurity, phonetic character,
     phonetic symbol, pictogram, pictographic character, pip-squeak,
     punk, puppet, pushover, puzzle out, reckon, resolve, runt, score,
     scramble, scrub, seal, secret language, secret writing, shrimp,
     sigil, sign, sign manual, signature, signet, slang, small fry,
     small potato, small potatoes, squirt, squit, subscription,
     subtract, syllabic, symbol, symbolic system, symbolism,
     symbolization, symbology, sympathetic ink, take account of, tally,
     thing of naught, token, totem, totem pole, trifle, type, unravel,
     unriddle, visa, vise, whiffet, whippersnapper, whole number,
     work out, writing, written character, zero, zilch

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  CIPHER. An arithmetical character, used for numerical notation. Vide 
  Figures, and 13 Vin. Ab. 210; 18 Eng. C. L. R. 95; 1 Ch. Cr. Law, 176. 
       2. By cipher is also understood a mode of secret writing. Public 
  ministers and other public agents frequently use ciphers in their 
  correspondence, and it is sometimes very useful so to correspond in times of 
  war. A key is given to each minister before his departure, namely, the 
  cipher for writing ciphers, (chiffre chiffrant,) and the cipher for 
  deciphering (chiffre dechiffrant.) Besides these, it is usual to give him a 
  common cipher, (chiffre banal,) which is known to all the ministers of the 
  same power, who occasionally use it in their correspondence with each other. 
       3. When it is suspected that, a cipher becomes known to the cabinet 
  where the minister is residing, recourse is had to a preconcerted sign in 
  order to annul, entirely or in part, what has been written in cipher, or 
  rather to indicate that the contents are to be understood in an inverted or 
  contrary sense. A cipher of reserve is also employed in extraordinary cases. 

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