• WordNet 3.6
    • v cipher make a mathematical calculation or computation
    • v cipher convert ordinary language into code "We should encode the message for security reasons"
    • n cipher a message written in a secret code
    • n cipher a secret method of writing
    • n cipher a person of no influence
    • n cipher 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 cipher a mathematical element that when added to another number yields the same number
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Julius Caesar was the first to encode communications, using what has become known as the Caesar Cipher.
    • Cipher A character in general, as a figure or letter. "This wisdom began to be written in ciphers and characters and letters bearing the forms of creatures."
    • Cipher (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.
    • Cipher 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.
    • Cipher 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 ."
    • a Cipher Of the nature of a cipher; of no weight or influence. "Twelve cipher bishops."
    • Cipher One who, or that which, has no weight or influence. "Here he was a mere cipher ."
    • Cipher To decipher.
    • Cipher To designate by characters.
    • Cipher To get by ciphering; as, to cipher out the answer.
    • v. i Cipher To use figures in a mathematical process; to do sums in arithmetic. "“T was certain he could write and cipher too."
    • Cipher To write in occult characters. "His notes he ciphered with Greek characters."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n cipher In arithmetic and algebra, a character of the form 0, which by itself is the symbol of nought or null quantity, but when used in certain relations with other figures or symbols increases or diminishes their relative value according to its position. Thus, in whole numbers, a cipher when placed at the right hand of a figure increases its value tenfold, as 1, 10; in decimal fractions, when placed at the left hand of a figure, it divides the value of that figure by ten, as, .1, one tenth, .01, one hundredth, etc.; as an exponent it reduces the value of the expression whose exponent it is to unity, as x = 1, etc.
    • n cipher Figuratively, something of no value, consequence, or power; especially, a person of no weight, influence, usefulness, or decided character.
    • n cipher A written character in general, especially a numeral character.
    • n cipher A combination of letters, as the initials of a name, in one complex device, engraved, stamped, or written on something, as on a seal, plate, coach, tomb, picture, etc.; a literal device. See monogram.
    • n cipher In heraldry, such a combination of letters borne upon a small escutcheon or cartouche, and substituted in an achievement of arms of a woman for the crest, which appears only in those of men.
    • n cipher A secret or disguised manner of writing; any method of conveying a hidden meaning by writing, whether by means of an arbitrary use of characters or combinations understood only by the persons concerned, or by a conventional significance attached to words conveying a different meaning to one not in the secret; cryptography.
    • n cipher Anything written in cipher; a cryptogram.
    • n cipher The key to a cipher or secret mode of writing.
    • cipher To use figures; practise arithmetic by means of numerical figures or notation.
    • cipher In fox-hunting, to hunt carefully about in search of a lost trail: said of a dog.
    • cipher To run on three legs: said of a dog.
    • cipher Of an organ-pipe, to sound independently of the action of tiie player, in consequence of some mechanical derangement in the organ.
    • cipher To reckon in figures; cast up; make out in detail, as or as if by ciphering: generally with up or out, and often used figuratively: as, to cipher or cipher up the cost of an undertaking; to cipher out the proper method of proceeding.
    • cipher To write in occult characters.
    • cipher To designate or express by a sign; characterize.
    • cipher To decipher.
    • cipher To put (a batsman) out without scoring; also, to put a cipher opposite to (a batsman's name) to indicate that he has failed to score.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Cipher sī′fėr (arith.) the character 0: any of the nine figures: anything of little value, whether persons or things: a nonentity: an interweaving of the initials of a name: a secret kind of writing
    • v.i Cipher to work at arithmetic: to write in cipher: of an organ-pipe, to sound independent of the organ:
    • v.i Cipher (Shak.) to decipher
    • ***


  • Thomas Carlyle
    “Laughter is the cipher key wherewith we decipher the whole man”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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


In literature:

But without these very elements which the wise men bemoan, Swift would be for us a cipher.
"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 1 of 14" by Elbert Hubbard
Already I'm a mere cipher in my family.
"Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 3" by Various
The ciphers and arms of Henry and his wife, Jane Seymour, are emblazoned on one of the windows, indicating the date of 1536 or 1537.
"Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 17, No. 97, January, 1876" by Various
It is in the old Foreign Office cipher and it looks like gibberish.
"The Great Prince Shan" by E. Phillips Oppenheim
It's an absurdly simple cipher.
"The Tracer of Lost Persons" by Robert W. Chambers
Laughter is the cipher-key to a man.
"Supreme Personality" by Delmer Eugene Croft
Many a splendid life to-day is an utter cipher in the spirit atmosphere because of some such hindrance.
"Quiet Talks on Prayer" by S. D. (Samuel Dickey) Gordon
In this warfare they are merely ciphers in front of the real figures.
"Our Vanishing Wild Life" by William T. Hornaday
Arabic numerals and cipher, 230.
"Notes & Queries, Index of Volume 1" by Various
It was written in the Chevalier's own cipher and hand; it asked anxiously for news and gave some.
"Clementina" by A.E.W. Mason

In poetry:

I am the one the horse knocks down,
up to my eyes in dirt, a cipher,
and yet I play with knives of pain
too monstrous for man's heart to suffer.
"Tumble Out Of The Flood: [Bukj föl az árból]" by Attila Jozsef
The right to a life of my own,--
Not merely a casual bit
Of somebody else's life, flung out
That, taking hold of it,
I may stand as a cipher does after a numeral writ.
"My Right" by Susan Coolidge
As yet ungotten, I did suffer;
The rack of dreams my lily bones
Did twist into a living cipher,
And flesh was snipped to cross the lines
Of gallow crosses on the liver
And brambles in the wringing brains.
"Before I Knocked" by Dylan Thomas
Has Gannett tracked the wild Aurora's path?
Has Bowdoin found his all-surrounding sphere?
What question puzzles ciphering Philomath?
Could Williams make the hidden causes clear
Of the Dark Day that filled the land with fear?
"American Academy Centennial Celebration" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
I' b'en a-kindo musin', as the feller says, and I'm
About o' the conclusion that they ain't no better time,
When you come to cipher on it, than the times we used to know
When we swore our first "dog-gone-it" sorto solem'-like and low!
"Romancin'" by James Whitcomb Riley

In news:

'Cosmopolis' review: a sleek and airless limo ride with a cipher .
"The Cipher ", E-Books & the Future of Print.
(The Cipher can play multichannel SACDs, but I didn't.
Here's an overview of Cipher 's syntax and options.
Protect Your Data with Cipher .
Art and hip-hop collide in ' Cipher ,' an exhibition exploring lyricism and urban poetry.
Cipher 's primary goal is to bring about an understanding of the power hip-hop lyrics can hold, Lee said, so for those unfamiliar with the genre, the exhibition may be an eye-opening experience.
Enigma' ciphering machine brings $101,000 in vintage technology auction.
For years, critics have dismissed her as a cipher with a wisp of a voice.
An eavesdropper who can guess the seed of the " random " number used to encode a message can break the cipher.
Cracking the so-called Copiale cipher was a three-step process.
A cipher wrapped in an enigma smothered in secret sauce.
Columnar transposition ciphers and permutations, oh my.
And Boise State University prepares for White Whale and Cipher.
Absorbica launched under license from Cipher Pharmaceuticals.

In science:

A simple unbreakable cipher system is presented which uses the concept of ”pseudo-bits” that has never been used in either classical or quantum cryptography.
A simple unbreakable code
Beker, J. and Piper, F., 1982, Cipher systems: the protection of communications (London: Northwood publications).
A simple unbreakable code
Although such constructions are a common source of security for block ciphers like DES and AES, their mathematical justification (or lack thereof ) is troubling.
Simple Permutations Mix Even Better
Ciphering is applied to these bursts and then the resulting data is used to modulate the carriers in modulation.
EPspectra: A Formal Toolkit for Developing DSP Software Applications
Ciphering performs an exclusive or (XOR) operation between 2 bursts of each block and a secret recipe known only by the mobile station and BTS.
EPspectra: A Formal Toolkit for Developing DSP Software Applications