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CINC'TURE, n. [L. cinctura, from cingo, to surround, to gird; It. cintura; Fr. ceinture.]

  1. A belt, a girdle, or something worn round the body. – Pope.
  2. That which encompasses, or incloses. – Bacon.
  3. In architecture, a ring or list at the top and bottom of a column, separating the shaft at one end from the base; at the other, from the capital. It is supposed to be in imitation of the girths or ferrils anciently used to strengthen columns. – Chambers.

CIN'DER, n. [chiefly used in the plur. Cinders. Fr. cendre; It. cenere; Sp. ceniza; L. cinis, ashes. In W. sindw, is the cinders or scoria of a forge; Sax. sinder, the scoria of metals; D. zindel; Sw. sinder. Qu. Gr. κονες, κονια, dust, ashes.]

  1. Small coals or particles of fire mixed with ashes; embers. [This is the usual sense of the word in America.]
  2. Small particles of matter, remaining after combustion, in which fire is extinct; as, the cinders of a forge. [I believe this word is never used as synonymous with ashes.]


A woman whose business is to rake into heaps of ashes for cinders. – Johnson. [Not known in America.]


Reduction to ashes.

CIN-E-RA'CEOUS, or CIN-E'RE-OUS, a. [L. cinereus, from cinis, ashes.]

Like ashes; having the color of the ashes of wood. – Martyn.


Pertaining to ashes.

CIN-E-RA'TION, n. [from L. cinis, ashes.]

The reducing of any thing to ashes by combustion.

CIN-E-RI'TIOUS, a. [L. cinericius, from cinis, ashes.]

Having the color or consistence of ashes. Cheyne.


Full of ashes.

CIN'GLE, n. [Ir. ceangal; L. cingulum, from cingo, to gird.]

A girth; but the word is little used. [See Surcingle.]

CIN'NA-BAR, n. [Gr. κινναβαρι; L. cinnabaris; Persian قَنْبَاْر kanbar.]

Red sulphuret of mercury. Native cinnabar is an ore of quicksilver, moderately compact, very heavy, and of an elegant striated red color. It is called native vermilion, and its chief use is in painting. The intensity of its color is reduced by bruising and dividing it into small parts. It is found amorphous, or under some imitative form, or crystalized. Factitious cinnabar is a mixture of mercury and sulphur sublimed, and thus reduced into a fine red glebe. – Encyc. Cleaveland. Hooper.


Pertaining to cinnabar; consisting of cinnabar, or containing it; as cinnabarine sand. – Journ. of Science.

CIN'NA-MON, n. [Gr. κινναμον, or κινναμωμον; L. cinnamomum. Qu. It. cannella; Sp. canela; D. kaneel; Fr. cannelle. It is in the Heb. קנמון.]

The bark of two species of Laurus. The true cinnamon is the inner bark of the Laurus Cinnamomum, a native of Ceylon. The base cinnamon is from the Laurus Cassia. The true cinnamon is a most grateful aromatic, of a fragrant smell, moderately pungent taste, accompanied with some degree of sweetness and astringency. It is one of the best cordial, carminative and restorative spices. The essential oil is of great price. – Encyc. Hooper. Cinnamon-stone, called by Haüy Essonite, is a rare mineral from Ceylon, of a hyacinth red color, yellowish brown or honey yellow; sometimes used in jewelry. – Cleaveland. Cinnamon-water, is made by distilling the bark, first infused in barley water, in spirit of wine, brandy, or white wine. Clove-cinnamon, is the bark of a tree growing in Brazil, which is often substituted for real cloves. White-cinnamon, or Canella alba, is the bark of a tree growing in the West Indies, of a sharp biting taste, like pepper.

CINQUE, n. [cink. Fr. five.]

A five; a word used in games.

CINQUE'-FOIL, n. [Fr. cinque, five, and feuille, a leaf, L. folium.]

A species of Potentilla.

CINQUE'-PACE, n. [Fr. cinque, five, and pas, pace.]

A kind of grave dance. – Shak.

CINQUE'-PORTS, n. [Fr. cinque, five, and ports.]

Five havens on the eastern shore of England, toward France, viz. Hastings, Romney, Hythe, Dover, and Sandwich. To these ports, Winchelsea and Rye have been added. These were anciently deemed of so much importance, in the defense of the kingdom against an invasion from France, that they received royal grants of particular privileges, on condition of providing a certain number of ships in war at their own expense. Over these is appointed a warden, and each has a right to send two barons to Parliament. – Cowel. Blackstone. Encyc.


Having five spots. – Shak.

CIN'TER, n. [Fr.]

In architecture, the timber framing erected in apertures between piers to support voussoirs or materials of an arch when in building, till they are keyed. – Elmes.

CI'ON, n. [Fr. cion or scion. Different modes of spelling the same word are very inconvenient; and whatever may have been the original orthography of this word, cion, the most simple, is well established, and is here adopted.]

A young shoot, twig or sprout of a tree, or plant, or rather the cutting of a twig, intended for ingrafting on another stock; also, the shoot or slip inserted in a stock for propagation.

CI'PHER, n. [Fr. chiffre; Arm. chyfr or cyfr; It. cifera or cifra; Sp. and Port. cifra; D. cyffer; G. ziffer; Dan. ciffer; Sw. ziffra; Russ. tsiphir; Ar. صِفْْرٌ siforon, empty, and a cipher.]

  1. In arithmetic, an Arabian or Oriental character, of this form 0, which, standing by itself, expresses nothing, but increases or diminishes the value of other figures, according to its position. In whole numbers, when placed at the right hand of a figure, it increases its value ten fold; but in decimal fractions, placed at the left hand of a figure, it diminishes the value of that figure ten fold.
  2. A character in general. – Ralegh.
  3. An intertexture of letters, as the initials of a name, engraved on a seal, box, plate, coach or tomb; a device; an enigmatical character. Anciently, merchants and tradesmen, not being permitted to bear family arms, bore, in lieu of them, their ciphers, or initials of their names, artfully interwoven about a cross. – Encyc.
  4. A secret or disguised manner of writing; certain characters arbitrarily invented and agreed on by two or more persons, to stand for letters or words, and understood only by the persons who invent, or agree to use them. This is a mode of communicating information by letters, in time of war, with a view to conceal facts from an enemy, in case the letters should be intercepted. This art has given rise to another art, that of deciphering; and hence cipher is used for a key to unravel the characters. To have, or to learn a cipher, is to be able to interpret it.

CI'PHER, v.i.

In popular language, to use figures, or to practice arithmetic.

CI'PHER, v.t.

  1. To write in occult characters. – Hayward.
  2. To designate; to characterize. – Shak.


  1. Using figures, or practicing arithmetic.
  2. Writing in occult characters.


A key for deciphering writings.