Definition of factor in English:

factor

Line breaks: fac¦tor
Pronunciation: /ˈfaktə
 
/

noun

1A circumstance, fact, or influence that contributes to a result: his skill was a factor in ensuring that so much was achieved she worked fast, conscious of the time factor
More example sentences
  • Similarly, family and friends of students have been considered an influential factor in choosing an agriculture major.
  • Timely administration is a key factor in achieving positive results with hyaluronidase.
  • What is the greatest factor in contributing to childhood obesity?
Synonyms
element, part, component, ingredient, strand, constituent, point, detail, item, feature, facet, aspect, characteristic, consideration, influence, circumstance, thing, determinant
1.1 Biology A gene that determines a hereditary characteristic: the Rhesus factor
More example sentences
  • Homeobox genes encode transcription factors involved in many aspects of developmental processes.
  • These findings provide insights into how genomes and environmental factors interact to determine phenotypes.
  • In related studies, the genetic factors determining the conformation of curd was analyzed.
2A number or quantity that when multiplied with another produces a given number or expression: an amount that exceeds it by a factor of 1000 or more
More example sentences
  • Multiply your X factor by 159 to reach a daily total of 2,067 calories a day.
  • Here, the change often seemed to be proportional to the molecular weight of the solute multiplied by a factor of two, three or four.
  • Take the maximum draw weight of the bow required and multiply this by a factor of 5.
2.1 Mathematics A number or algebraic expression by which another is exactly divisible.
More example sentences
  • So what about those Fibonacci numbers with no factors (apart from 1 and itself, of course)?
  • The fraction 10/12 can be reduced, because both the numerator and denominator have factors of 2.
  • A number that only has two factors, one and itself, is called a prime number.
3A level on a scale of measurement.
More example sentences
  • You can select from the standard list of scale factors or key in your own.
  • Your weirdness factor goes off the scale of this test.
  • As expected, the sympathy factor has tilted the scales of a nation already dissatisfied with the government.
3.1(With numeral) a sunscreen of the sun protection factor specified: factor 30 sun cream
More example sentences
  • For tropical sun exposure, a protection factor of 15 or higher should be more than adequate for all day exposure.
  • The application of sunscreen with an SPF factor of 8 reduces production of vitamin D by 95%.
4 Physiology Any of a number of substances in the blood, mostly identified by numerals, which are involved in coagulation. See factor VIII.
More example sentences
  • These include a change in the balance between procoagulant and anticoagulant factors in the blood.
  • In hemostasis, there is a balance between procoagulant factors and natural anticoagulant proteins.
  • In recent years literature is emerging on the role of different factors of blood coagulation in arterial thrombosis.
5An agent who buys and sells goods on commission: his father was chief factor for the Hudson’s Bay Company
More example sentences
  • The brassfounders' traditional use of factors and agents accounts for the maddening anonymity of the catalogues.
  • Each district was normally headed by a chief factor, who reported to the departmental governor.
Synonyms
agent, representative, deputy, middleman, intermediary, go-between; estate manager, land agent, land steward, reeve
5.1A company that buys a manufacturer’s invoices at a discount and takes responsibility for collecting the payments due on them.
More example sentences
  • Usually notice is given to the account debtor and the debts are collected directly by the factor.
  • It is the factor who then receives payment from the importer.
5.2Scottish A land agent or steward: the house became home to the estate factor
More example sentences
  • The factor who manages the estate is Peter Graham from Bidwells in Inverness.
  • Within two years they were selling paintings and objets d' art, and within five years they had moved into the estate factor's house and mothballed Whittingehame.
  • Peter Ord, the factor of Balmoral Estate, said he hoped that work would start on the scheme within the next 12 months.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1 Mathematics another term for factorize. last year researchers factored a number 155 digits long
More example sentences
  • It meant that the resources needed to use previously known algorithms for factoring numbers of a given size could now be used to factor significantly larger numbers.
  • I don't understand how to start out factoring this algebra.
  • But if you could factor large numbers then you could break these codes.
2(Of a company) sell (its invoices) to a factor: they collected rents while he factored these forfeited estates
More example sentences
  • Of considerably more importance is that Scanchem is now factoring its invoices, and thus increasing its apparent borrowing, the outstanding amounts being secured by a charge on the book debts of the company, as is normal.
  • They were however concerned that they might be factoring bogus invoices.
  • Consider factoring or invoice discounting - drawing down bank finance against your debtor balance.

Origin

late Middle English (meaning 'doer', also in the Scots sense 'agent'): from French facteur or Latin factor, from fact- 'done', from the verb facere.

Phrasal verbs

factor something in (or out)

Include (or exclude) something as a relevant element when making a decision: when the psychological costs are factored in, a different picture will emerge
More example sentences
  • The Department of Education had estimated the bill for compensation would reach €508m, rising to €610m when legal and administration costs were factored in.
  • Courts Service chief executive officer PJ Fitzpatrick said they did not see the original lease until much later and were unaware refurbishment costs were factored in to the rental price.
  • Puppeteers argue their fees are low if their working hours are factored in, including preparation for the show and the cleanup.

Derivatives

factorable

adjective
More example sentences
  • It should be noted that the number of tickets in each column and row is six, a factorable number divisible by two and three as well as by six and one.

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