[ sahy-fer ]
/ ˈsaɪ fər /


verb (used without object)

to use figures or numerals arithmetically.
to write in or as in cipher.

verb (used with object)

to calculate numerically; figure.
to convert into cipher.
Also especially British, cy·pher.

Origin of cipher

1350–1400; Middle English siphre < Medieval Latin ciphra < Arabic ṣifr empty, zero; translation of Sanskrit śūnyā empty

Related forms

ci·pher·a·ble, adjectiveci·pher·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ciphering

British Dictionary definitions for ciphering



/ (ˈsaɪfə) /



Word Origin for cipher

C14: from Old French cifre zero, from Medieval Latin cifra, from Arabic sifr zero, empty
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