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  1. the procedures, processes, methods, etc., used to translate or interpret secret writings, as codes and ciphers, for which the key is unknown.
  2. the science or study of such procedures.Compare cryptography(def 1).

Origin of cryptanalysis

An Americanism dating back to 1920–25; crypt(ogram) + analysis
Related formscrypt·an·a·lyt·ic [krip-tan-l-it-ik] /ˌkrɪp tæn lˈɪt ɪk/, adjectivecrypt·an·a·lyt·i·cal·ly, adverbcrypt·an·a·lyst [krip-tan-l-ist] /krɪpˈtæn l ɪst/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for cryptanalysis


  1. the study of codes and ciphers; cryptography
Derived Formscryptanalytic (ˌkrɪptænəˈlɪtɪk), adjectivecryptanalyst, noun

Word Origin

C20: from cryptograph + analysis
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012