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crypto- +‎ -graphy


  • enPR: krĭptŏgʹrəfē, IPA(key): [kɹ̥ɪpˈtʰɒɡɹəfiː], /kɹɪpˈtɒɡ.ɹə.fi/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɒɡɹəfi


cryptography (usually uncountable, plural cryptographies)

  1. The discipline concerned with communication security (eg, confidentiality of messages, integrity of messages, sender authentication, non-repudiation of messages, and many other related issues), regardless of the used medium such as pencil and paper or computers.
    • 1658, Sir Thomas Browne (first use in English):
      We might abate...the strange cryptography of Gaffarell in his Starrie Booke of Heaven.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Subfields include encoding, decoding, cryptanalysis, codes, ciphers, etc.
  • In many languages, though less so in English, cognates to "cryptology" are also used with the meaning given above, and even preferred.
  • Related to cryptography but distinct, steganography is the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no-one apart from the sender and intended recipient even realizes there is a hidden message.

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