1a circumstance, fact, or influence that contributes to a result:his skill was a factor in ensuring that so much was achievedshe worked fast, conscious of the time factor

Biology a gene that determines a hereditary characteristic:the Rhesus factor

2a number or quantity that when multiplied with another produces a given number or expression:an amount that exceeds it by a factor of 1000 or more

Mathematics a number or algebraic expression by which another is exactly divisible.

3a level on a scale of measurement.

(with numeral) a sunscreen of the sun protection factor specified:factor 30 sun cream

4 Physiology any of a number of substances in the blood, mostly identified by numerals, which are involved in coagulation.See factor VIII.

5an agent who buys and sells goods on commission:his father was chief factor for the Hudson’s Bay Company

a company that buys a manufacturer’s invoices at a discount and takes responsibility for collecting the payments due on them.

Scottish a land agent or steward:the house became home to the estate factor

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Universal

1 Mathematicsanother term for factorize.last year researchers factored a number 155 digits long

2(of a company) sell (its invoices) to a factor:they collected rents while he factored these forfeited estates

factor something in (or out)

include (or exclude) something as a relevant element when making a decision:when the psychological costs are factored in, a different picture will emerge