Meaning of FACTOR in English


I. fac ‧ tor 1 S3 W1 AC /ˈfæktə $ -ər/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 1400-1500 ; Language: French ; Origin: facteur , from Latin factor 'doer, maker' , from facere 'to do, make' ]

1 . CAUSE/INFLUENCE one of several things that influence or cause a situation:

The rise in crime is mainly due to social and economic factors.

factor in

The vaccination program has been a major factor in the improvement of health standards.

important/major/key/crucial factor

The weather could be a crucial factor in tomorrow’s game.

deciding/decisive/determining factor (=the most important factor)

We liked both houses, but price was the deciding factor.

2 . LEVEL ON A SCALE a particular level on a scale that measures how strong or effective something is:

factor 15 suntan oil

Even in July the wind chill factor (=the degree to which the air feels colder because of the wind) can be intense.

3 . by a factor of five/ten etc if something increases or decreases by a factor of five, ten etc, it increases or decreases by five times, ten times etc

4 . MATHEMATICS technical a number that divides into another number exactly:

3 is a factor of 15.

• • •



▪ an important factor

Human influence has been an important factor as regards climate change.

▪ a major/minor factor (=the most or least important of several factors)

The country’s huge mineral reserves are a major factor behind its economic strength.

▪ a key/crucial factor (=a very important factor)

A key factor in a company’s success is knowing its customers.

▪ the deciding factor (=the reason for making a particular choice)

The closeness of the river was probably the deciding factor when the site was chosen.

▪ the decisive/determining factor (=the one that has the biggest effect)

The support of middle-income voters was the decisive factor in the election.

▪ a contributing factor (=one that helps to make something happen)

Stress is a contributing factor in many illnesses.

▪ economic factors

Economic factors limit our options.

▪ environmental factors

Various environmental factors affect the growth of grapes.

▪ social factors

Social factors have played their part in the decline in family sizes.

▪ a risk factor (=something that makes you more likely to have an illness)

The highest risk factor for coronary heart disease was found to be smoking.

■ verbs

▪ depend on certain factors

Success depends on certain factors.

▪ factors influence something

Various factors influenced the government’s decision.

▪ factors determine something

The final cost of the product was determined by a combination of factors.

▪ factors are responsible for something

These underlying factors were responsible for his death.

■ phrases

▪ a combination/variety/number of factors

A combination of factors led to the closure of the factory.

▪ take certain factors into account (=to consider factors when making a decision)

You should take all these factors into account.

II. factor 2 AC BrE AmE verb [transitive] American English technical

to divide a number into factors

factor something ↔ in ( also factor something into something ) phrasal verb technical

to include a particular thing in your calculations about how long something will take, how much it will cost etc

factor something ↔ out phrasal verb technical

to not include something in your calculations about how long something will take, how much it will cost etc

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.