Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: NUMBERS

Date: 1400-1500
Language: French
Origin: facteur, from Latin factor 'doer, maker', from facere 'to do, make'

factor

1 noun
     
fac‧tor1 S3 W1 [countable]
1

cause/influence

one of several things that influence or cause a situation:
The rise in crime is mainly due to social and economic factors.
factor in
The vaccination program has been a major factor in the improvement of health standards.
important/major/key/crucial factor
The weather could be a crucial factor in tomorrow's game.
deciding/decisive/determining factor (=the most important factor)
We liked both houses, but price was the deciding factor.
2

level on a scale

TM a particular level on a scale that measures how strong or effective something is:
factor 15 suntan oil
Even in July the windchill factor (=the degree to which the air feels colder because of the wind) can be intense.
3

by a factor of five/ten etc

HMN if something increases or decreases by a factor of five, ten etc, it increases or decreases by five times, ten times etc
4

mathematics

technicalHMN a number that divides into another number exactly:
3 is a factor of 15.
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