Definition of factor noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] one of several things that cause or influence something economic factors The closure of the mine was the single most important factor in the town's decline. the key/crucial/deciding factor The result will depend on a number of different factors Language BankcauseX causes Y Childhood obesity can cause/lead to long-term health problems. Changes in lifestyle and diet over the last twenty years have caused/led to/resulted in a sharp increase in childhood obesity. Several factors, including changes in diet and lifestyle, have contributed to the increase in childhood obesity. Research suggests that fast food and soft drinks directly contribute to childhood obesity. Genetics, lifestyle, and diet are all important factors in cases of childhood obesity. Even small changes in lifestyle and diet can bring about significant weight loss.
  2. 2[countable] (mathematics) a number that divides into another number exactly 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12 are the factors of 12.
  3. 3[countable] the amount by which something increases or decreases The real wage of the average worker has increased by a factor of over ten in the last 70 years.
  4. 4 [countable] a particular level on a scale of measurement The wind chill factor will make it seem colder. a sunblock with a sun protection factor of 30
  5. 5 [uncountable] (medical) a substance in the blood that helps the clotting process. There are several types of this substance Hemophiliacs have no factor 8 in their blood
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: factor