cipher

A cipher is the numeral zero or someone without influence or importance. Don't vote your popular classmate to be the student council leader if he or she is actually a cipher, someone who can't do the job effectively.

Cipher comes from the Arabic sifr meaning "nothing" or "zero" and came to Europe as a word along with the Arabic numeral system. As early codes substituted numerals for letters to hide the word’s meaning, codes became known as ciphers. If you crack a cipher, you break the code enabling you to understand the message. An encoded message is also called a cipher. Send one to your friend if you don't want anyone to know what you're saying!

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: cipher

1
nv
a secret method of writing
convert ordinary language into code
2
n
a mathematical element that when added to another number yields the same number
3
v
make a mathematical calculation or computation
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: cipher
1

n a secret method of writing

Synonyms:
cryptograph, cypher, secret code
Type of:
code
a coding system used for transmitting messages requiring brevity or secrecy

n a message written in a secret code

Synonyms:
cypher
Type of:
message
a communication (usually brief) that is written or spoken or signaled

v convert ordinary language into code

Synonyms:
code, cypher, encipher, encrypt, inscribe, write in code
Type of:
encode
convert information into code
2

n a mathematical element that when added to another number yields the same number

Synonyms:
0, cypher, nought, zero
Type of:
digit, figure
one of the elements that collectively form a system of numeration

n a quantity of no importance

Synonyms:
aught, cypher, goose egg, nada, naught, nil, nix, nothing, null, zero, zilch, zip, zippo
Types:
nihil
(Latin) nil; nothing (as used by a sheriff after an unsuccessful effort to serve a writ)
Fanny Adams, bugger all, fuck all, sweet Fanny Adams
little or nothing at all
Type of:
relative quantity
a quantity relative to some purpose

n a person of no influence

Synonyms:
cypher, nobody, nonentity
Types:
pip-squeak, small fry, squirt
someone who is small and insignificant
jackanapes, lightweight, whippersnapper
someone who is unimportant but cheeky and presumptuous
Type of:
common man, common person, commoner
a person who holds no title
3

v make a mathematical calculation or computation

Synonyms:
calculate, compute, cypher, figure, reckon, work out
work out
be calculated
Types:
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quantise, quantize
apply quantum theory to; restrict the number of possible values of (a quantity) or states of (a physical entity or system) so that certain variables can assume only certain discrete magnitudes that are integral multiples of a common factor
extract
calculate the root of a number
process
perform mathematical and logical operations on (data) according to programmed instructions in order to obtain the required information
prorate
divide or assess proportionally
miscalculate, misestimate
calculate incorrectly
recalculate
calculate anew
average, average out
compute the average of
factor, factor in, factor out
resolve into factors
add, add together
make an addition by combining numbers
deduct, subtract, take off
make a subtraction
multiply
combine by multiplication
divide, fraction
perform a division
extrapolate, interpolate
estimate the value of
differentiate
calculate a derivative; take the derivative
integrate
calculate the integral of; calculate by integration
survey
plot a map of (land)
approximate, estimate, gauge, guess, judge
judge tentatively or form an estimate of (quantities or time)
budget
make a budget
capitalise, capitalize
compute the present value of a business or an income
resolve, solve
find the solution
square
raise to the second power
cube
raise to the third power
foot, foot up
add a column of numbers
carry back
deduct a loss or an unused credit from taxable income for a prior period
raise
multiply (a number) by itself a specified number of times: 8 is 2 raised to the power 3
halve
divide by two; divide into halves
quarter
divide by four; divide into quarters
triangulate
survey by triangulation
quantise, quantize
approximate (a signal varying continuously in amplitude) by one whose amplitude is restricted to a prescribed set of discrete values
misgauge
gauge something incorrectly or improperly
place, put, set
estimate
give
estimate the duration or outcome of something
lowball, underestimate
make a deliberately low estimate
assess
estimate the value of (property) for taxation
make
calculate as being
count, reckon
take account of
overcapitalise, overcapitalize
estimate the capital value of (a company) at an unreasonably or unlawfully high level
factorise, factorize
resolve (a polynomial) into factors
truncate
approximate by ignoring all terms beyond a chosen one
guesstimate
estimate based on a calculation
Type of:
reason
think logically

WORD FORMS

alternate spellings

cipher
cypher
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