He had created a kind of cypher, without any obvious hierarchy of order.
He plays Commander Alastair Denniston, head of the Government Code and cypher School (GCCS) at Bletchley Park during World War II.
He was either a cypher, or else he had an inexpressible charm about him.
We had confidence in cypher's sullenness and smouldering ferocity.
I send you a letter which I had begun in cypher, that you may see how far you can make it out.
Among these he found my watch, which had belonged to my father and was marked with his cypher.
But Trundle, the cypher, no one thought of him, no one cared about his speech.
I hope you have received the cypher I sent to Mr Adams for you.
I did not know there was such a thing as a cypher that could not be solved.'
You will, I presume, put them in cypher before they are sent off.
late 14c., "arithmetical symbol for zero," from Old French cifre "nought, zero," Medieval Latin cifra, with Spanish and Italian cifra, ultimately from Arabic sifr "zero," literally "empty, nothing," from safara "to be empty;" loan-translation of Sanskrit sunya-s "empty." The word came to Europe with Arabic numerals. Originally in English "zero," then "any numeral" (early 15c.), then (first in French and Italian) "secret way of writing; coded message" (a sense first attested in English 1520s), because early codes often substituted numbers for letters. Klein says Modern French chiffre is from Italian cifra.
"to do arithmetic" (with Arabic numerals), 1520s, from cipher (n.). Meaning "to write in code" is from 1560s. Related: Ciphered; ciphering.