A password is a word — or a series of letters or numbers — that's kept secret. You might need a password to get into your brother's clubhouse or to use your friend's laptop.

During World War II, soldiers used passwords to enter guarded areas; these were words or phrases (and responses) that only other Allied soldiers knew. Today, you're more likely to use a password for protecting an electronic device, for withdrawing money from a bank machine, or for logging into your email or social media account. The original meaning of password, from the late 1700s, was "word used to distinguish friend from foe."

Definitions of password

n a secret word or phrase known only to a restricted group

“he forgot the password
countersign, parole, watchword, word
Type of:
arcanum, secret
information known only to a special group
positive identification
evidence proving that you are who you say you are; evidence establishing that you are among the group of people already known to the system; recognition by the system leads to acceptance

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