verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Origin of factor
- one of two or more integers or polynomials whose product is a given integer or polynomial2 and 3 are factors of 6
- an integer or polynomial that can be exactly divided into another integer or polynomial1, 2, 3, and 6 are all factors of 6
Word Origin for factor
early 15c., "agent, deputy," from Middle French facteur "agent, representative," from Latin factor "doer or maker," agent noun from past participle stem of facere "to do" (see factitious). Sense of "circumstance producing a result" is from 1816.
1610s, "act as an agent," from factor (n.). The use in mathematics is attested from 1837. Related: Factored; factoring.