[ krip-tuh-nal-uh-sis ]
/ ˌkrɪp təˈnæl ə sɪs /


the procedures, processes, methods, etc., used to translate or interpret secret writings, as codes and ciphers, for which the key is unknown.
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 forms

crypt·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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for cryptanalyst


/ (ˌkrɪptəˈnælɪsɪs) /


the study of codes and ciphers; cryptography

Derived Forms

cryptanalytic (ˌkrɪptænəˈlɪtɪk), adjectivecryptanalyst, noun

Word Origin for cryptanalysis

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