decipher

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English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

As decypher, but not retaining the y from the Old French etyma of cipher (cyfre, cyffre); the i spelling tends to be preferred etymologically, being consistent with its cognates, the French déchiffrer and the Italian decifrare, and with their common ancestor, the Medieval Latin cifra, cifera, ciphra.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

decipher (third-person singular simple present deciphers, present participle deciphering, simple past and past participle deciphered)

  1. (transitive) To decode or decrypt a code or cipher to plain text.
  2. (transitive) To read text that is almost illegible or obscure.
  3. (transitive) To find a solution to a problem.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

decipher (plural deciphers)

  1. A decipherment; a decoding.
    • 1837, Arthur Wellesley Duke of Wellington, ‎John Gurwood, The Dispatches of Field Marshall the Duke of Wellington, K.G.
      I enclose a letter which I received yesterday evening from the Marques de Monsalud, containing the decipher of a letter from the King to the Comte d'Erlon. I wish that the Marques had sent the ciphered letter here []

Anagrams[edit]