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[en-kript] /ɛnˈkrɪpt/
verb (used with object)
to encipher or encode.
Origin of encrypt
1940-45; en-1 + -crypt (abstracted from cryptic, cryptography, etc.), modeled on encode
Related forms
encryption, encryptation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for encryption
  • The idea of encryption is to make a message unreadable, except to the receiver.
  • We use data encryption technology to help protect against loss, misuse or alteration of your credit card information.
  • As long as you don't write your own algorithm, secure encryption is easy.
  • The research was supposed to be about developing a method for decoding all existing encryption codes.
  • He never revealed the encryption code or the program he used to defeat it.
  • Now a new approach to computer encryption could help protect the files of stolen laptops.
  • Wider use of encryption might seem an obvious answer.
  • To this day, no other encryption scheme is known to be unbreakable.
  • Sometimes mediocre encryption is better than strong encryption, and sometimes no encryption is better still.
  • The detective routinely recorded his own calls, and the government has not faced the same encryption problems with those.
British Dictionary definitions for encryption


verb (transitive)
to put (a message) into code
to put (computer data) into a coded form
to distort (a television or other signal) so that it cannot be understood without the appropriate decryption equipment
Derived Forms
encrypted, adjective
encryption, noun
Word Origin
C20: from en-1 + crypt, as in crypto-
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
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Word Origin and History for encryption



1975 in computer sense, from en- (1) + crypt (see crypto-). Related: Encrypted; encrypting; encryption.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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encryption in Science
To alter information using a code or mathematical algorithm so as to be unintelligible to unauthorized readers.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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encryption in Culture

encryption definition

The process of encoding a message so that it can be read only by the sender and the intended recipient. Encryption systems often use two keys, a public key, available to anyone, and a private key that allows only the recipient to decode the message. (See also cryptography.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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encryption in Technology
algorithm, cryptography
Any procedure used in cryptography to convert plaintext into ciphertext (encrypted message) in order to prevent any but the intended recipient from reading that data.
Schematically, there are two classes of encryption primitives: public-key cryptography and private-key cryptography; they are generally used complementarily. Public-key encryption algorithms include RSA; private-key algorithms include the obsolescent Data Encryption Standard, the Advanced Encryption Standard, as well as RC4.
The Unix command crypt performs a weak form of encryption. Stronger encryption programs include Pretty Good Privacy and the GNU Privacy Guard.
Other closely related aspects of cryptograph include message digests.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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