Definition of factory in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfakt(ə)ri/

noun (plural factories)

1A building or group of buildings where goods are manufactured or assembled chiefly by machine: a clothing factory [as modifier]: factory workers
More example sentences
  • Employers must put in place proper controls to protect workers from hazards in factories, on building sites and on farms.
  • You are free to wander at your own pace through nearly three-quarters of a mile of shop fronts, factories and other buildings.
  • Ford recently announced it will close four U.S. factories and a truck assembly plant in Canada.
works, plant, manufacturing complex/facility, yard, mill, industrial unit, business unit;
workshop, shop;
shop floor
archaic manufactory
1.1 [with modifier] A person or organization that continually produces a great quantity of something specified: the group have become a rock-and-roll hit factory
More example sentences
  • The major sources of syndicated material are wire services or news factories such as AAP and Reuters.
  • The fun was subsidised by the huge salaries writers were receiving from the Hollywood dream factory.
  • Private health factories aren't going to happen here, nor are privately run state schools.
2 historical An establishment for traders carrying on business in a foreign country: he is chaplain to the British factory at St Petersburg
More example sentences
  • In the next two years, it managed to build its first factory (as the trading posts were known) in the town of Machilipatnam on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal.
  • A very small trade was indulged in spasmodically on the coast of Fukien, and it was not until 1762 that a Dutch factory was established at Canton.


Late 16th century (in sense 2): via Portuguese feitoria from medieval Latin factoria, from Latin factor (see factor). sense 1 based on late Latin factorium, literally 'oil press'.

  • The first factories were far from any urban area, in India and southeast Asia. A factory in the late 16th century was a trading company's foreign base or station. The first use of the word in something like the modern sense came in the early 17th century, but until the Victorian era a building where goods were produced was more usually called a manufactory. The root of factory is Latin facere ‘to make or do’, the source of a great many English words such as fact, factor, feat, and feature (all LME). The sense ‘a place where things are made’ probably came from Latin factorium ‘oil press’.

Words that rhyme with factory

manufactory, olfactory, phylactery, refractory, satisfactory

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: fac|tory

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