# public key

public keynoun

One of two keys used in public key cryptography, made publicly available by the recipient of encrypted data and typically used to encrypt data and to verify digital signatures.

## public-key

## public key - Computer Definition

Public key cryptography uses two mathematical keys that are related. A message encrypted by one key can only be decrypted by the other related key. This notion contrasts with traditional cryptography, now called symmetric cryptography, which uses the same key for encryption as for decryption.

See Also: Cryptography or “Crypto”; Decryption or Decipher; Encryption or Encipher; Key.

An encryption key that can be made public or sent by ordinary means such as an e-mail message. See private key for more details.