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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Cipher mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Cipher

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Ci"pher
Senses
  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.]

Etymology: 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

adjective Ci"pher
Of the nature of a cipher; of no weight or influence.
verb Ci"pher
To use figures in a mathematical process; to do sums in arithmetic.
verb Ci"pher
Senses
  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)
  4. To designate by characters.(Obs)
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A message written in a secret code
  2. A secret method of writing
  3. A person of no influence
  4. A quantity of no importance
  5. A mathematical element that when added to another number yields the same number
  6. Make a mathematical calculation or computation
  7. Convert ordinary language into code
Wiktionary

14th century. From Old French cyfre, cyffre (French chiffre), ultimately from Arabic صِفْر (ṣifr, “zero, empty”), from صَفَرَ (ṣafara, “to be empty”). Compare zero. Sense 9 may be a different word.

  1. A numeric character.
  2. Any text character.
  3. A combination or interweaving of letters, as the initials of a name; a device; a monogram.
    a painter's , an engraver's , etc.
  4. A method of transforming a text in order to conceal its meaning.
    The message was written in a simple . Anyone could figure it out.
  5. (cryptography) A cryptographic system using an algorithm that converts letters or sequences of bits into ciphertext.
  6. Ciphertext; a message concealed via a .
    The message is clearly a , but I can't figure it out.
  7. A grouping of three digits in a number, especially when delimited by commas or periods:
    The probability is 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000 — a number having five of zeros.
  8. A design of interlacing initials: a decorative design consisting of a set of interlaced initials.
  9. (music) A fault in an organ valve which causes a pipe to sound continuously without the key having been pressed.
  10. A hip-hop jam session.
  11. The path (usually circular) shared cannabis takes through a group, an occasion of cannabis smoking.
  12. Someone or something of no importance.
  13. (dated) Zero.

Notable Persons Named Cipher

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Notable Persons With the Last Name Cipher

Alberti was born in 1404 in Genoa. They left this life in 1472.

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Fun Facts about the name Cipher

  • How unique is the name Cipher? Out of 5,933,561 records in the U.S. Social Security Administration public data, the first name Cipher was not present. It is possible the name you are searching has less than five occurrences per year.
  • Weird things about the name Cipher: Your name in reverse order is Rehpic. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Cepihr. How do you pronounce that?

What Ciphers Have Visited This Page?

Past life for Cipher born Nov 27, 1978

I do not know how you feel about it, but you were a male in your last earthly incarnation. You were born somewhere around the territory of Hungary approximately on 1775. Your profession was leader, major, and captain.

Psychologically, you were timid, constrained, and quiet. You had creative talents, waited until that life to be liberated. Sometimes environment considered you strange. Your main lesson in present - to develop magnanimity and feeling of brotherhood. Try to become less adhered to material property and learn to have only as many, as you may give back.

Name poster for Cipher

Name poster for Cipher(click to save the high quality version)

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.