1384 Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Douce 369(2)) (1850) Dan. ii. 5 Bot ȝe shuln shewe to me the sweuen, and the coniecturyng, or menyng, therof. 1400 Mandeville’s Trav. (Roxb.) viii. 29 By þe chaungeyng of þe coloures men..knawes and coniectures wheder it schall be derthe of corne. 1440 Promptorium Parvulorum 464/1 Solvyn, supra in onbyyndyn. 1450 Alphabet of Tales (1904) I. 254 And on þis maner þai war wunt..for to solve þer faste. 1450 J. Lydgate Secrees 1259 Afftir the sesouns Solve flewm brennyng or moysture. 1460 Promptorium Parvulorum (Winch.) 322 Onbyyndyn, or solvyn, soluo.
1513 R. Fabyan New Cronycles Eng. & Fraunce (1516) I. clxxxvi. f. cx Whiche thynge thus by the kynge desyred, the Lordes anone coniectured in their myndes that he desyred the kepynge of theyr yonge lorde, to ye ende that he myght the more easyerly optayne the possession of that Dukedome. 1528 S. Gardiner in N. Pocock Rec. Reformation (1870) I. l. 104 To the intent we might the better discipher the very lett and sticking. 1529 Bp. S. Gardiner Let. 7 Sept. (1933) 39 Bicause they [sc. letters from Rome] be moch in cifre, his Hignes desireth your Grace that they may be disciphred there and remitted hither again. 1529 T. More Supplyc. Soulys ii. f. xxxviv Yf he wold now..beleue those .iii. or .iiii. noughty persons, agaynst those .iii. or .iiii. C. good and honest men: he then shuld well decypher hym self, and well declare therby, [etc.]. 1530 J. Palsgrave Lesclarcissement 494/1 As I conjecture, it wyll be founde. 1550 J. Bale Image Both Churches (new ed.) ii. sig. h.iijv Wythout the blynd bussynges of a papyste, may no synne be solued. 1551 R. Robinson tr. T. More Vtopia sig. Nii They furthwyth verye wyttelye coniectured the thynge [sc. paper-making]. 1552 R. Ascham Let. July in H. Ellis Orig. Lett. Eminent Literary Men (1843) 12 Your Mrship is wel ware in seeing our lettres fittly dissiphered, lest..a clear other mynd may appeare in reading, than was ment in writing. 1555 R. Eden tr. Peter Martyr of Angleria Decades of Newe Worlde i. vi. f. 30v They coniectured that these thynges portended sum great matter. 1567 G. Fenton tr. M. Bandello Certaine Tragicall Disc. f. 253v He not liking to..heare the secrettes of his falte so plainely decipherede, replied accordynge to the discrecion of our wilfull youth now adaies. 1569 E. Fenton tr. P. Boaistuau Certaine Secrete Wonders Nature xli. f. 139v Ther was found sundry learned and holy men, which began not only to decipher the misery of this infant [Fr. a philosopher sur la misere de cest enfant], but also ye monstrous shape therof in this sort, saying, yt by the horne was signified pride & ambition, by the wings lightnesse & inconstancie. 1572 J. Knox Hist. Reformation Scotl. in Wks. (1846) I. 191 Thane begane he to dissipher the lyves of diverse Papes, and the lyves of all the scheavelynges for the most parte. 1573 G. Harvey Let.-bk. (1884) 40 Being not able to coniecture what purpose he should have in his hed. 1574 J. Dee Let. 3 Oct. in H. Ellis Orig. Lett. Eminent Literary Men (1843) 37 Yf by such a secret..Threasor hid may be decipherd in precise place. 1574 T. Newton in tr. G. Gratarolo Direct. Health Magistrates & Studentes Ep. sig. Aiiij In this litle Pamphlet, so clerkely and compendiously decyphered, I haue aduentured to deuest him of his Latine weede, and after a homely sorte forced into barbarous Englishe. 1576 A. Fleming tr. Erasmus in Panoplie Epist. 346 Occupying his pen (as by the course of his wordes, is to be conjectured) so unnecessarily. 1578 J. Banister Hist. Man i. f. 3 Those fewe decyffered names, which the aunncient Anathomistes haue giuen [to the Bones]. 1579 S. Gosson Schoole of Abuse f. 1 Whether he were better with his art to discifer the life of the Nimpe Melia, or Cadmus encounter with the Dragon, or [etc.]. 1580 C. Hollyband Treasurie French Tong Devinement, coniecturing, soothsaying. 1581 A. Fleming Diamond of Deuotion i. ix. 42 Of two differing waies deciphered by the letter Y. 1584 R. Scot Discouerie Witchcraft vii. xi. 145 Coniecture vnto me by thy familiar spirit. 1586 J. Stewart Poems (1913) 158 Thir verse disschyphre rycht..Or than ȝe sall no perfyt sentence find. 1586 Sir P. Sidney Apol. Poetrie (1595) sig. E1v A coniectured likelihood. 1587 D. Fenner Def. Godlie Ministers sig. Liv I coniecture..their meaning to be this. 1587 G. Turberville Tragicall Tales f. 68v Coniecture of her cares, imagine her distresse. 1594 J. Dickenson Arisbas sig. B 3 I haue a secret to disclose, a sorrowe to disciphre. 1599 S. Daniel Let. from Octavia xlix. sig. D2, in Poet. Ess. These secret figures, natures message beare Of coming woes, were they desciphered right.
1602 W. Watson tr. E. Pasquier Iesuites Catech. i. ii. f. 5 I beseech you decyfer [Fr. dechifrer] your doctrine that I may vnderstand it, for to say truth, this is high Dutch to me. 1605 F. Bacon Of Aduancem. Learning ii. sig. Qq1v The vertues of them [sc. ciphers]..are..that they be impossible to discypher . 1605 R. Bannatyne Memorials Trans. Scotl. (1836) 166 Sir Nicolas Throgmorton,..be frequent conferences,..had dischypheret ther wickit intentioune. 1605 T. Tymme in tr. J. Du Chesne Pract. Chymicall & Hermeticall Physicke Ep. Ded. sig. A3v Thus (right Honourable) you see a Paradox, no Paradox, & a Hieroglyphick plainly disciphered. 1607 E. Topsell Hist. Foure-footed Beastes 142 Those painters which could moste artificially decipher a Dog..were greatly reuerenced among the Egyptians. 1610 J. Healey tr. Cebes’ Table in tr. Epictetus Manuall (1636) 106 A table..the meaning whereof we could not possibly conjecture. 1616 J. Bullokar Eng. Expositor Decipher, to write after a strange fashion, that none shall reade it. 1616 J. Bullokar Eng. Expositor Solue, to vntie. 1619 E. M. Bolton tr. Florus Rom. Hist. ii. xv. 203 The furie of the rebels may be coniectured by this, that they pluckt downe house-tops. 1621 R. Burton Anat. Melancholy ii. ii. iii. 328 [H]e hath coyned 72 Homocentrickes, to solue all apparances. 1624 Bp. F. White Replie to Iesuit Fishers Answere 564 Summes of money..to be solued to the Publicans of the Ecclesiasticall Roman Tribute. 1624 T. Gataker Discuss. Transubstant. 69 Solving all objections gathered out of their obscurer sayings against Catholic doctrine. 1625 A. Garden Characters & Ess. 35 Yet time decyphers these Deceivers all, When they debosh, and play Bankrupt, with all. 1629 P. Massinger Roman Actor i. i. sig. Bv On the Stage Decipher to the life what honours waite On good, and glorious actions.
1634 W. Tirwhyt tr. J. L. G. de Balzac Lett. 57 I can lesse conjecture, that you are hindred by want of Health..I will therefore imagine whatsoever you will have me to thinke. 1643 J. Milton Doctr. Divorce 35 When all conjecturing is don. 1644 J. Bulwer Chirologia 15 The ancient Masters of the Hieroglyphiques..used to decypher a distinct and articulate voyce by a Tongue. 1644 K. Digby Two Treat. i. xix. 171 If then we can but arriue to decypher the first characters of the hidden Alphabet. 1646 R. Baillie Anabaptism 93 I cannot conjecture at the reason, why the second Edition..does change so many materiall passages of the first. 1646 Sir T. Browne Pseudodoxia Epidemica 304 If we may conjecture of these by what we finde related of others. 1652 J. Gaule Πυς-μαντια 311 Melampus the Augur conjectured at the slaughter of the Greeks, by the flight of little birds. 1655 T. Fuller Hist. Univ. Cambr. vi. 102 in Church-hist. Brit. Let me conjecture him..of Buckingham Colledge. 1657 G. Hutcheson Brief Expos. XII. Smal Prophets (ed. 2) (Micah iii. 7) 230/2 God will have false teachers seen in their own collours, and will decipher them to the world. 1658 E. Phillips New World Eng. Words Solve, to loosen, or undo. 1660 G. Mackenzie Aretina ii. 177 The poor fellow fearing that all was deciphered, and begging the King’s privacy, he confessed ingenuously the progress of the whole matter. 1662 J. Chandler tr. J. B. van Helmont Oriatrike 309 The solved flowre of Sulphur. 1667 J. Milton Paradise Lost viii. 55 Hee..would..solve high dispute With conjugal Caresses. 1669 T. Gale Court of Gentiles: Pt. I i. vi. 33 Learned Bochart..does thus decipher this riddle. 1671 J. Milton Paradise Regain’d iv. 570 That Theban Monster that propos’d Her riddle, and him, who solv’d it not, devour’d. 1686 J. Scott Christian Life: Pt. II II. vii. 866 When our Saviour came into the World he unveiled the Jewish Religion, and decyphered all those mystical Characters wherein its spiritual sense was expressed. 1689 J. Wallis Let. 9 Nov. in Gentleman’s Mag. (1788) Oct. 852/1 My Lord, I send you the other decyphered letters.
1701 R. Steele Christian Hero 91 An Army, whose Swords can make right in Power, and solve controversy in Belief. 1704 Clarendon’s Hist. Rebellion III. x. 5 This following Letter was sent to him, by the Lord Jermin, in whose Cipher it was writ, and decipher’d by his Lordship. 1704 J. Swift Full Acct. Battel between Bks. in Tale of Tub 231 The Issue or Events of this War are not so easy to conjecture at. 1706 J. Stevens New Spanish Dict. i Solución,..the Solving of a Question. 1709 R. Steele et al. Tatler No. 104 in Lucubrations Isaac Bickerstaff (1710) I. 2/1 With much ado I deciphered another Letter. 1715 J. Addison Spectator No. 613. ¶8 Deciphering them on a Carpet humbly begging Admittance. 1716 C. Townshend Let. 12 Oct. in W. Coxe Mem. Life & Admin. Sir R. Walpole (1798) II. ii. 113 You will find the inclosed letters very curious; that from count Gyllenburg to baron Gortz is decyphered. 1718 Lady M. W. Montagu Let. 31 July (1965) I. 420 I conjecture them to be the remains of that city. 1720 D. Waterland 8 Serm. Divinity of Christ vii. 244 The Son being decipher’d and figur’d under those names, or Characters. 1726 J. Swift Gulliver I. ii. vi. 103 Of these Hairs I likewise made a neat little Purse..with her Majesty’s Name decyphered in Gold Letters. 1726 J. Swift Gulliver II. iii. ii. 19 He was then deep in a Problem, and we attended at least an Hour, before he could solve it. 1732 H. Davidson Let. 25 Feb. in T. Boston Mem. Life, Time, & Writings App. 21 We must believe loving-kindness in all the mysterious passages of Providence: we shall in due time see a wheel in the wheel, and be taught how to decipher the dark characters. 1737 Gentleman’s Mag. Nov. 675/2 There must be found one Condition more to solve the Question, or to reduce it to only one unknown Quantity. 1750 S. Johnson Rambler No. 19. ⁋11 I have found him..decyphering the Chinese language. 1753 L. M. tr. J. Du Bosc Accomplish’d Woman I. 1 The fancied Loves which these romantic Tales decipher. 1756 C. Lucas Ess. Waters ii. 164 The solvent and solved both concur in producing these effects in the water. 1757 H. Newcastle Let. 8 Dec. in Mem. & Papers Sir A. Mitchell (1850) I. viii. 296 If..you should want to put any thing in cypher, pray do it, and I will get it decyphered at my Lord Holdernesse’s office. 1760 R. Griffith & E. Griffith Lett. Henry & Frances (ed. 2) I. 269 On account of solving Appearances to her Nicety. 1763 W. Shenstone Wks. Verse & Prose (1764) I. 86 These the sounds that chase unholy strife! Solve envy’s charm. 1767 L. Sterne Life Tristram Shandy IX. xxiv. 93 The postillion delivered this with so much discretion and natural eloquence, that I could not help decyphering something in his face above his condition. 1774 T. Reid Brief Acct. Aristotle’s Logic iv. §2, in Ld. Kames Sketches Hist. Man II. iii. i. 237 By observing a train of uniform effects with due caution, we may at last decypher the law of nature by which they are regulated. 1777 J. Priestley Disquis. Matter & Spirit xviii. 236 This writer..suggests another method of solving this difficulty. 1789 H. L. Piozzi Observ. Journey France I. 117 We conjectured he meant Dr. Burney. 1793 J. Hely tr. R. O’Flaherty Ogygia II. 104 I find these seven vowels A. O. U. E. I. Æ. Oi. thus decyphered in Virgean characters. 1793 T. Holcroft tr. J. C. Lavater Ess. Physiognomy (abridged ed.) xxxviii. 197 Each man has his favorite gesture which might decypher his whole character. 1794 G. Adams Lect. Nat. & Exper. Philos. I. ix. 378 It will be easily solved in hot water. 1794 J. Hutton Diss. Philos. Light 307 An opportunity of trying our conjectured theory. 1794 R. J. Sulivan View of Nature II. 361 Coins..with legends in a character not to be decyphered by the antiquaries of Europe. 1799 C. Durnford in Rep. Court Common Pleas during Time Ld. Chief Justice Willes Pref. 4 The necessity of decyphering and transcribing myself the manuscripts of the learned Chief Justice which are in a character peculiar to himself.
1806 C. Hutton Course Math. (ed. 5) I. 247 The general method of solving quadratic equations, is by what is called completing the square. 1820 Cambro-Briton 2 18 I know not whether you will be able to decipher these foul scrawls, or distinguish them from the marginal explications. 1821 N. Nicholas in Trans. Soc. Encouragement Arts, Manuf. & Commerce 39 107 The arrangement will be more complicated to those who might attempt to decipher a communication without possessing the key. 1828 J. Dessiou Moore’s Pract. Navigator (ed. 20) 115 How to solve compound courses, or a traverse, has already been shown in Plane Sailing. 1832 Ld. Tennyson Œnone in Poems (new ed.) 63 As a mother Conjectures of the features of her child Ere it is born. 1837 R. A. Davenport Life of Ali Pasha xii. 300 A profound knowledge of the human heart..enables him correctly to decipher their respective talents, and to assign to them the offices most suited to their abilities. 1839 G. P. R. James Louis XIV I. 9 The Queen was too closely watched to put the correspondence in cypher herself, or to decypher the answers she received. 1841 G. Borrow Zincali II. iii. 119 The following consideration will help to solve this point. 1843 W. H. Prescott Hist. Conquest Mexico I. i. vi. 207 He deciphered the hieroglyphics. 1845 J. T. Graves Rom. Law in Encycl. Metrop. 776/1 A copy of the decyphered text. 1847 R. W. Emerson Poems 197 My servant Death with solving rite Pours finite into infinite. 1848 P. J. Bailey Festus (ed. 3) 17 The electric touch solved both our souls together. 1852 Jrnl. Royal Agric. Soc. 13 i. 170 As long as the water is kept in motion it carries its solved substances with it. 1852 Jrnl. Royal Agric. Soc. 13 i. 170 The plant (grass) that takes up the material solved takes up the water also. 1855 A. Bain Senses & Intellect ii. ii. 479 In deciphering bad hand-writing there is scope for identifying sameness in diversity. 1855 C. Kingsley Lett. (1878) I. 455 The problem of life..solves itself so very soon at best by death. 1856 J. A. Froude Hist. Eng. (1858) I. ii. 169 The number of Protestants at this time it is difficult to conjecture. 1862 C. P. Hodgson in Guardian 30 Apr. 424 The history of the ‘Ainos’ also is a singular book to decipher. 1865 D. Livingstone & C. Livingstone Narr. Exped. Zambesi xxv. 535 Attempting to decipher the testimony of the rocks. 1866 G. MacDonald Ann. Quiet Neighb. (1878) xxvi. 451 I found it difficult even to conjecture from his countenance what thoughts were passing through his mind. 1866 J. B. Rose tr. Ovid Metamorphoses 219 Minos returned to his Curetan home, And solved his vows. 1874 C. H. Spurgeon Treasury of David IV. Ps. lxxxiv. 6 Probably there is here a local allusion, which will never now be deciphered. 1874 Contemp. Rev. 24 122 Estates in Hertfordshire..were able to pay £17,509..towards solving the debt. 1875 B. Jowett tr. Plato Dialogues (ed. 2) I. 302 That I should conjecture to be the truth. 1878 H. P. Gurney Crystallogr. 119 Anyone who can solve a spherical triangle will have no difficulty. 1879 L. Campbell Sophocles I. Pref. 8 Αἰκάλλουσι for ἐκκαλοῦσι in O.T. 597 was conjectured independently by Musgrave and L. Dindorf. 1880 Paper & Printing Trades Jrnl. xxxi. 4 Solve next a small quantity of bichromate of potassa in distilled water. 1882 Shorthand 1 34 The clerks associated with the writer will each take so many leaves and begin to decipher and transcribe. 1883 J. M. Fleming Old Violins 273 Its presence does not injure the solving power of the alcohol. 1885 F. Temple Relations Relig. & Sci. v. 128 We can conjecture the direction in which further advances will be made. 1885 F. Temple Relations Relig. & Sci. v. 147 It leaves questions to be solved some of which have not been solved yet. 1895 Athenæum 25 May 665/2 The solving of the vexed questions that beset us.