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Origin of factor

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English facto(u)r, from Latin factor “maker, perpetrator,” equivalent to fac(ere) “to make, do” + -tor agent noun suffix; see -tor

OTHER WORDS FROM factor

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use factor in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for factor

factor
/ (ˈfæktə) /

noun
verb
(intr) to engage in the business of a factor
See also factor in

Derived forms of factor

factorable, adjectivefactorability, nounfactorship, noun

Word Origin for factor

C15: from Latin: one who acts, from facere to do

usage for factor

Factor (sense 1) should only be used to refer to something which contributes to a result. It should not be used to refer to a part of something such as a plan or arrangement; instead a word such as component or element should be used
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for factor

factor
[ făktər ]

Noun
One of two or more numbers or expressions that are multiplied to obtain a given product. For example, 2 and 3 are factors of 6, and a + b and a - b are factors of a2 - b2.
A substance found in the body, such as a protein, that is essential to a biological process. For example, growth factors are needed for proper cell growth and development.
Verb
To find the factors of a number or expression. For example, the number 12 can be factored into 2 and 6, or 3 and 4, or 1 and 12.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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