the intelligible original message of a cryptogram, as opposed to the coded or enciphered version.
Also called clear text.
Compare cryptography.

1915–20; plain1 + text Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Computing Dictionary

plaintext definition

A message before encryption or after decryption, i.e. in its usual form which anyone can read, as opposed to its encrypted form ("ciphertext").

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Example sentences
For example, a file encryption key exists in plaintext form only during actual encryption and/or decryption processing of a file.
Knowing how often letters are used can help you guess which cipher letter equals which plaintext letter.
Reading from left to right, you should be able to see the plaintext message.
Encryption transforms the plaintext data into an unreadable form, called ciphertext, using an encryption key.
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