Meaning of “factor” in the English Dictionary

"factor" in British English

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factornoun [ C ]

uk /ˈfæk.tər/ us /ˈfæk.tɚ/

factor noun [ C ] (FACT)

B2 a fact or situation that influences the result of something:

People's voting habits are influenced by political, social and economic factors.
Heavy snow was a contributing factor in the accident.
Price will be a major/crucial factor in the success of this new product.
The economy is regarded as the decisive/key factor in the outcome of the election.
informal The movie's success is largely due to its feel-good factor (= its ability to make people feel happy).

More examples

factor noun [ C ] (NUMBER)

specialized mathematics in mathematics, any whole number that is produced when you divide a larger number by another whole number:

Two, three, four and six are all factors of twelve.

a particular level on some systems of measurement:

a wind chill factor of -20
UK a factor 20 suntan cream
by a factor of

If an amount becomes larger or smaller by a factor of a particular number, it becomes that number of times larger or smaller:

Cases of leukaemia in the area near the nuclear reactor have risen by a factor of four.

(Definition of “factor” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"factor" in American English

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us /ˈfæk·tər/

factor noun (SITUATION)

[ C ] a fact or situation that influences a result:

Economic factors had a lot to do with their decision to sell the company.

factor noun (NUMBER)

[ C ] algebra a number or variable (= letter or symbol) that is being multiplied in a product (= result of multiplying):

In 6×3=18, 6 and 3 are factors of the product 18.

[ C ] algebra A factor of a product is a number that the product can be divided by exactly.

(Definition of “factor” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"factor" in Business English

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factornoun [ C ]

uk /ˈfæktər/ us

one of several things that affects or influences a situation:

Increasing use of online newspapers was definitely a contributing factor to the company's collapse.
a key/significant/major factor
a critical/crucial factor
a deciding/decisive factor

also invoice factor FINANCE a business that buys the right to collect debts for another company and charges for collecting them:

Using a factor can be a good way of getting better cashflow.

the amount that a number is multiplied or divided by:

a factor of 3/10/75, etc. You should reduce your final figures by a factor of three.

COMMERCE a company or person that sells goods produced by another company using their own name, usually for payment

the . . . factor

something special that a product, idea, person, etc. has that makes them successful or makes people notice them:

What's missing from this organization is the leadership factor.
Her latest fashion collection certainly has the wow factor.

factorverb [ T ]

uk /ˈfæktər/ us

FINANCE to sell the right to collect payments and debts owed to your company or organization to another business:

How many of their operations are factored?
Factoring is just one way of raising capital in the short term.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “factor” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)