Share this entry

Share this page


Syllabification: fac·to·ry
Pronunciation: /ˈfakt(ə)rē

Definition of factory in English:

noun (plural factories)

1A building or group of buildings where goods are manufactured or assembled chiefly by machine.
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.
informal sweatshop, salt mine(s)
1.1 [with modifier] A person, group, or institution that continually produces a great quantity of something specified: a huge factory of lying, slander, and bad English
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.
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): from medieval Latin factoria from Latin factor (see factor). sense 1 from late Latin factoria, literally 'oil press'.

Definition of factory in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day verbose
Pronunciation: vərˈbōs
using more words than are needed…