- a quantity possessing both magnitude and direction, represented by an arrow the direction of which indicates the direction of the quantity and the length of which is proportional to the magnitude.Compare scalar(def 4).
- such a quantity with the additional requirement that such quantities obey the parallelogram law of addition.
- such a quantity with the additional requirement that such quantities are to transform in a particular way under changes of the coordinate system.
- any generalization of the above quantities.
- the direction or course followed by an airplane, missile, or the like.
- an insect or other organism that transmits a pathogenic fungus, virus, bacterium, etc.
- any agent that acts as a carrier or transporter, as a virus or plasmid that conveys a genetically engineered DNA segment into a host cell.
- Computers. an array of data ordered such that individual items can be located with a single index or subscript.
- Aeronautics. to guide (an aircraft) in flight by issuing appropriate headings.
- Aerospace. to change direction of (the thrust of a jet or rocket engine) in order to steer the craft.
Origin of vector
- Also called: polar vector maths a variable quantity, such as force, that has magnitude and direction and can be resolved into components that are odd functions of the coordinates. It is represented in print by a bold italic symbol: F or ̄FCompare pseudoscalar, pseudovector, scalar (def. 1), tensor (def. 2)
- maths an element of a vector space
- Also called: carrier pathol an organism, esp an insect, that carries a disease-producing microorganism from one host to another, either within or on the surface of its body
- Also called: cloning vector genetics an agent, such as a bacteriophage or a plasmid, by means of which a fragment of foreign DNA is inserted into a host cell to produce a gene clone in genetic engineering
- the course or compass direction of an aircraft
- any behavioural influence, force, or drive
- to direct or guide (a pilot, aircraft, etc) by directions transmitted by radio
- to alter the direction of (the thrust of a jet engine) as a means of steering an aircraft
Word Origin for vector
"quantity having magnitude and direction," 1704, from Latin vector "one who carries or conveys, carrier," from past participle stem of vehere "carry, convey" (see vehicle).
- Of, relating to, or characterized by a vector.
- An organism, such as a mosquito or tick, that carries disease-causing microorganisms from one host to another.
- A bacteriophage, a plasmid, or another agent that transfers genetic material from one location to another.
- A quantity, such as velocity, completely specified by a magnitude and a direction.
- A quantity, such as the velocity of an object or the force acting on an object, that has both magnitude and direction. Compare scalar.
- An organism, such as a mosquito or tick, that spreads pathogens from one host to another.
- A bacteriophage, plasmid, or other agent that transfers genetic material from one cell to another.
In physics and mathematics, any quantity with both a magnitude and a direction. For example, velocity is a vector because it describes both how fast something is moving and in what direction it is moving. Because velocity is a vector, other quantities in which velocity is a factor, such as acceleration and momentum, are vectors also.