A factor is a part or element that contributes to a result. If you only fly budget airlines and refuse to stay anywhere but youth hostels, then money is probably a big factor in your travel plans.

The word factor doubles as both noun and verb. A factor is an element that influences something, like many factors that contribute to global warming. To factor means to consider something relevant when making a decision or conclusion, like factoring in the weather and traffic when figuring out how long the drive will be. And if it's not relevant? Then you factor it out.

Definitions of factor
  1. noun
    anything that contributes causally to a result
    “a number of factors determined the outcome”
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    any factor that could be considered important to the understanding of a particular business
    any factor that defines a system and determines (or limits) its performance
    unknown quantity
    a factor in a given situation whose bearing and importance is not apparent
    wild card
    an unpredictable factor
    RF, releasing factor, releasing hormone
    a substance produced by the hypothalamus that is capable of accelerating the secretion of a given hormone by the anterior pituitary gland
    intrinsic factor
    a substance produced by the mucosa of the stomach and intestines that is essential for the absorption of vitamin B12
    GHRF, growth hormone-releasing factor
    a releasing factor that accelerates the secretion of growth hormone by the anterior pituitary body
    type of:
    events that provide the generative force that is the origin of something
  2. noun
    an abstract part of something
    “a key factor in her success”
    synonyms: component, constituent, element, ingredient
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    be all and end all, be-all and end-all
    the essential factor; the all-important element; the supreme aim
    plot element
    a component or element of the plot of a story
    a geometric element that has position but no extension
    an element, idea, or argument used to create a contrast
    MacGuffin, McGuffin
    (film) a plot element that catches the viewers' attention or drives the plot
    attracter, attractor
    (physics) a point in the ideal multidimensional phase space that is used to describe a system toward which the system tends to evolve regardless of the starting conditions of the system
    intersection, intersection point, point of intersection
    a point where lines intersect
    the point at which a line intersects a coordinate axis
    type of:
    division, part, section
    one of the portions into which something is regarded as divided and which together constitute a whole
  3. verb
    be a contributing factor
    “make things factor into a company's profitability”
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    type of:
    add, bestow, bring, contribute, impart, lend
    bestow a quality on
  4. verb
    consider as relevant when making a decision
    “You must factor in the recent developments”
    synonyms: factor in, factor out
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    type of:
    consider, study
    give careful consideration to
  5. noun
    any of the numbers (or symbols) that form a product when multiplied together
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    a statistical factor designed to remove the effect of inflation; inflation adjusted variables are in constant dollars
    conversion factor
    factor by which a quantity that is expressed in one set of units must be multiplied in order to convert it into another set of units
    constant of proportionality, factor of proportionality
    the constant value of the ratio of two proportional quantities x and y; usually written y = kx, where k is the factor of proportionality
    Planck's constant, h
    the constant of proportionality relating the energy of a photon to its frequency; approximately 6.626 x 10^-34 joule-second
    type of:
    a concept of quantity involving zero and units
  6. noun
    one of two or more integers that can be exactly divided into another integer
    “what are the 4 factors of 6?”
    synonyms: divisor
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    prime factor
    the prime factors of a quantity are all of the prime quantities that will exactly divide the given quantity
    equivalent-binary-digit factor
    the average number of binary digits needed to express one radix digit in a numeration system that is not binary; on the average a number that can be expressed in N decimal digits takes 3.3N binary digits
    common divisor, common factor, common measure
    an integer that divides two (or more) other integers evenly
    greatest common divisor, greatest common factor, highest common factor
    the largest integer that divides without remainder into a set of integers
    type of:
    integer, whole number
    any of the natural numbers or their negatives or zero
  7. verb
    resolve into factors
    “a quantum computer can factor the number 15”
    synonyms: factor in, factor out
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    type of:
    calculate, cipher, compute, cypher, figure, reckon, work out
    make a mathematical calculation or computation
  8. noun
    an independent variable in statistics
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    type of:
    experimental variable, independent variable
    (statistics) a variable whose values are independent of changes in the values of other variables
  9. noun
    a businessman who buys or sells for another in exchange for a commission
    synonyms: agent, broker
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    an agent who conducts an auction
    general agent, insurance agent, insurance broker, underwriter
    an agent who sells insurance
    investment banker, underwriter
    a banker who deals chiefly in underwriting new securities
    estate agent, house agent, land agent, real estate agent, real estate broker
    a person who is authorized to act as an agent for the sale of land
    ship broker
    an agent for the ship owner; obtains cargo and may arrange for its loading or discharge
    an agent in the buying and selling of stocks and bonds
    one appointed to represent a city or university or corporation in business transactions
    travel agent
    someone who sells or arranges trips or tours for customers
    killer bee
    an investment banker who devises strategies to make a target company less attractive for takeover
    a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors
    type of:
    bourgeois, businessperson
    a capitalist who engages in industrial commercial enterprise
  10. noun
    (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
    synonyms: cistron, gene
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    dominant gene
    gene that produces the same phenotype in the organism whether or not its allele identical
    allele, allelomorph
    (genetics) either of a pair (or series) of alternative forms of a gene that can occupy the same locus on a particular chromosome and that control the same character
    genetic marker
    a specific gene that produces a recognizable trait and can be used in family or population studies
    homeotic gene
    one the genes that are involved in embryologic development
    lethal gene
    any gene that has an effect that causes the death of the organism at any stage of life
    linkage group, linked genes
    any pair of genes that tend to be transmitted together
    modifier, modifier gene
    a gene that modifies the effect produced by another gene
    mutant gene
    a gene that has changed so that the normal transmission and expression of a trait is affected
    genes that are not competitors at the same locus
    operator gene
    a gene that activates the production of messenger RNA by adjacent structural genes
    oncogene, transforming gene
    a gene that disposes normal cells to change into cancerous tumor cells
    a gene that by itself has little effect on the phenotype but which can act together with others to produce observable variations
    a normal gene that has the potential to become an oncogene
    recessive gene
    gene that produces its characteristic phenotype only when its allele is identical
    regulator gene, regulatory gene
    a gene that produces a repressor substance that inhibits an operator gene
    repressor gene
    gene that prevents a nonallele from being transcribed
    structural gene
    a gene that controls the production of a specific protein or peptide
    suppresser, suppresser gene, suppressor, suppressor gene
    a gene that suppresses the phenotypic expression of another gene (especially of a mutant gene)
    an exogenous gene introduced into the genome of another organism
    X-linked gene
    a gene located on an X chromosome
    Y-linked gene, holandric gene
    a gene located on a Y chromosome
    dominant, dominant allele
    an allele that produces the same phenotype whether its paired allele is identical or different
    recessive, recessive allele
    an allele that produces its characteristic phenotype only when its paired allele is identical
    homeobox, homeobox gene
    one of various similar homeotic genes that are involved in bodily segmentation during embryonic development
    CFTR, cystic fibrosis transport regulator
    the gene that is mutated in cystic fibrosis
    tumor suppressor gene
    a suppressor gene that blocks unscheduled cell division
    type of:
    serial arrangement in which things follow in logical order or a recurrent pattern
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