Definition of vector in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvektər/


Image of vector
1 Mathematics & Physics A quantity having direction as well as magnitude, especially as determining the position of one point in space relative to another. Compare with scalar.
Example sentences
  • Angular momentum is a vector quantity, meaning it has both magnitude and direction, and can be described by three components (in three dimensions).
  • A vector quantity has magnitude and direction.
  • In contrast, the electric field is a vector quantity (meaning it has both a magnitude and a direction).
1.1 Mathematics A matrix with one row or one column.
Example sentences
  • This is the result of multiplying the matrix times the column vector, Wp, of original probabilities.
  • A data matrix having 21 column vectors with 86,000 grid points each can be generated from difference maps and decomposed in ~ 0.5 min.
  • We adapt the general matrix multiplication formula to, where the vertex vectors consist only of column 0 and the second subscript refers to the row entry of the vector.
1.2A course to be taken by an aircraft.
Example sentences
  • They were confusing call signs and giving vectors to the wrong aircraft.
  • As we headed to the vector, our aircraft, without warning, began to vibrate violently.
  • If you're nose-low, zeroing the rate of turn will point the lift vector up and the increasing airspeed will pitch the aircraft up toward the horizon.
1.3 [as modifier] Computing Denoting a type of graphical representation using straight lines to construct the outlines of objects.
Example sentences
  • XML controls the display of text, raster images and vector shapes such as lines, arcs and polygons.
  • When creating Flash, Macromedia did a lot more than simply create the most robust and powerful format for Web-based vector graphics animation.
  • Then the user renders some 3D animation into vector graphics format.
2An organism, typically a biting insect or tick, that transmits a disease or parasite from one animal or plant to another.
Example sentences
  • Now, in the 21st century, our researchers are still studying the relationships between animal hosts, insect and arthropod vectors, and disease agents.
  • Instead of killing the insect vectors of diseases, the Nazis tried to kill the human hosts of the pathogens.
  • Surface water harbours pathogens and the insect vectors of infectious diseases.
2.1 Genetics A bacteriophage or plasmid that transfers genetic material into a cell, or from one bacterium to another.
Example sentences
  • Positive phage clones were converted to plasmid vectors using the material provided in the cDNA synthesis kit.
  • Cells transformed with a plasmid vector only were used as negative controls.
  • The inserts were ligated into the plasmid vector and primary transformants were generated as per the supplied protocol.


[with object]
Direct (an aircraft in flight) to a desired point.
Example sentences
  • The controller could have asked the hangs to leave the area, or could have vectored the airliner differently, or simply have cautioned the airline pilot about the hangs including where and how many there were.
  • The flight crew had been vectored by controllers to intercept the Runway 27 extended centerline approximately nine miles out, and they were cleared for the VOR Runway 27 approach.
  • Once in the firing area, deployed aircraft from Kalaikunda are vectored on to the tug and fire at the target from the front quarter only.



Pronunciation: /vekˈtôrēəl/
Example sentences
  • Illumination of bacteriorhodopsin generates an electrochemical proton gradient across the purple membrane by vectorial translocation of a proton during the catalytic cycle.
  • Langmuir monolayers of phospholipid incorporating a membrane protein with a unidirectional vectorial orientation, on a semiinfinite aqueous subphase, provide one ‘membranelike’ environment for the protein.
  • We did not observe movements having a vectorial nature consistent with a convectional flow; however, the number of data points collected during our experiments may not have been large enough to identify this type of motion.


Pronunciation: /vekˈtôrēəlē/
Example sentences
  • It was shown that the EPR spectra of solvent-exposed helical sites in solution and in the adsorbed state can be simulated with a consistent set of dynamical parameters using a simple model of vectorially adsorbed molecules.
  • Active transport by P-gp occurs vectorially, with substrate binding to a site on P-gp within the apical membrane inner monolayer and with efflux into the apical chamber.
  • This results in a vectorially oriented ensemble of proteins on the surface, which gives rise to angular-dependent electron paramagnetic resonance spectra.


Pronunciation: /ˌvektərəˈzāSHən/
Example sentences
  • When intra-register vectorization for the Pentium 4 processor is enabled (switch xW), the performance goes up to 1,292 MFLOPS, boosting the performance by about 20%.
  • Applications software took a similar amount of time to be adapted to vector machines (for example, by restructuring loops and adding directives to facilitate automatic vectorization of the code by the compiler).
  • The Pro version includes a dictionary to spell-check vectorized text, batch vectorization, color vector conversion, trainable optical character recognition, and a command-line interface.


Pronunciation: /-ˌrīz/
Example sentences
  • Vector architectures, vectorizing compilers, and applications tuned for the use of vector hardware;
  • Several compilers, including the Convex and the Fujitsu Fortran Compilers, permitted applications that were written in standard Fortran 77 to be vectorized.
  • In spite of Grove's efforts to vectorize everybody in the same direction, numerous autonomous strategic initiatives continued to emerge, indicating continued attempts at exploration.


Mid 19th century: from Latin, literally 'carrier', from vehere 'convey'.

Words that rhyme with vector

bisector, collector, connector, convector, corrector, defector, deflector, detector, director, ejector, elector, erector, hector, injector, inspector, nectar, objector, perfecter, projector, prospector, protector, rector, reflector, rejector, respecter, sector, selector, Spector, spectre (US specter)

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: vec·tor

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