(1)   (genetics) a segment of DNA that is involved in producing a polypeptide chain; it can include regions preceding and following the coding DNA as well as introns between the exons; it is considered a unit of heredity
"Genes were formerly called factors"
(2)   An independent variable in statistics
(3)   An abstract part of something
"Jealousy was a component of his character"
"Two constituents of a musical composition are melody and harmony"
"The grammatical elements of a sentence"
"A key factor in her success"
"Humor: an effective ingredient of a speech"
(4)   Anything that contributes causally to a result
"A number of factors determined the outcome"
(5)   A businessman who buys or sells for another in exchange for a commission
(6)   Any of the numbers (or symbols) that form a product when multiplied together
(7)   One of two or more integers that can be exactly divided into another integer
"What are the 4 factors of 6?"


(8)   Resolve into factors
"A quantum computer can factor the number 15"


From , from perfect passive participle , from .


  1. A doer, maker; a person who does things for another person or organization
    The factor of the trading post bought the furs.
  2. An integral part
    The greatest factor in the decision was the need for public transportation.
    The economy was a factor in this year's budget figures.
  3. Any of various objects multiplied together to form some whole
    3 is a factor of 12, as are 2, 4 and 6.
    The factors of the Klein four-group are both cyclic of order 2.
  4. Influence; a phenomenon that affects the nature, the magnitude, and/or the timing of a consequence
    The launch temperature was a factor of the Challenger disaster.


  • 1956Arthur C. Clarke, The City and the Stars, p 38
    The first thousand primes...marched in order before him...the complete sequence of all those numbers that possessed no factors except themselves and unity.


  1. To find all the factors of (a number or other mathematical object) (the objects that divide it evenly).
  2. To be a product of other objects.