Meaning of FACTOR in English


I. ˈfaktə(r) also -ˌtȯ(ə)r or -ȯ(ə) noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English factour, from Middle French facteur, from Latin factor maker, doer, from factus + -or

1. : a person that acts or transacts business for another : agent , deputy : as

a. : a commercial agent who sells or buys goods for others on commission : consignee ; especially : one permitted to buy and sell in his own name and entrusted with the possession and control of goods — compare broker

b. now chiefly Scotland : a steward or bailiff of an estate ; also : one appointed by law to have charge of forfeited or sequestered property

c. : an employee of the former East India Company of Britain that ranked above a writer and below a merchant

d. : the agent in charge of a trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company who adds to the usual duties of a factor the care of the company's territory and often exercises a quasi police control of the surrounding region

e. : a commercial banker or finance company specializing in financial services to producers and dealers (as the discounting of accounts receivable)

2. obsolete

a. : partisan , adherent

b. : a maker, author, or doer of anything


a. : something (as an element, circumstance, or influence) that contributes to the production of a result : constituent , ingredient

people and people's doings are the essential factor — I.J.C.Brown

such factors as availability of adequate power, transportation, and a labor source must be considered in appraising an industrial site

hereditary predisposition, malnutrition, and overexertion are common factors in the development of many diseases

b. or factor of production : a good or service (as land, labor, or capital) used in the process of production

c. : one of the elements determined in job evaluation to be essential to a job (as skill and training required, effort demanded, responsibility and working conditions involved) — called also job factor


a. : gene

b. : a presumed equivalent of a gene (as a plasmagene)

some authorities recognize more than one kind of cytoplasmic factor


a. : any of the numbers, quantities, or symbols in mathematics that when multiplied together form a product

b. : a quantity by which a measure must be multiplied or divided in order to express it in other terms ; also : a quantity by which a given quantity is multiplied or divided in order to indicate a difference in measurement

c. : the number by which a given time is multiplied in photography to give the complete time for exposure or development

d. : a number that converts by multiplication the weight of one substance into the chemically equivalent weight of another substance — called also gravimetric factor

6. : a substance (as a hormone or vitamin) promoting or functioning in a particular physiological process ; especially : such a substance of which the exact nature or mode of action is unknown

the role of extrinsic factors in blood formation

Synonyms: see element

II. -_tə(r) verb

( factored ; factored ; factoring -t(ə)riŋ ; factors )

transitive verb

1. : to resolve into factors : factorize

2. : to act as factor for

factored his cousin's estate after he got out of the army

intransitive verb

: to act as a factor especially in discounting accounts receivable

III. transitive verb

: to include or admit as a factor — used with in or into

factor inflation into our calculations

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.