Cryp*tog"ra*phy(-f?), n. [Cf. F. cryptographie.] 1. The act or art of writing in code or secret characters; also, secret characters, codes or ciphers, or messages written in a secret code.
[1913 Webster +PJC]
2. The science which studies methods for encoding messages so that they can be read only by a person who knows the secret information required for decoding, called the key; it includes cryptanalysis, the science of decoding encrypted messages without possessing the proper key, and has several other branches; see for example steganography.
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