Pronunciation: (fak'tur),[key] —n. 1. one of the elements contributing to a particular result or situation: Poverty is only one of the factors in crime. 2. Math.one of two or more numbers, algebraic expressions, or the like, that when multiplied together produce a given product; a divisor: 6 and 3 are factors of 18. 3. Biochem.any of certain substances necessary to a biochemical or physiological process, esp. those whose exact nature and function are unknown.
4. a business organization that lends money on accounts receivable or buys and collects accounts receivable.
5. a person who acts or transacts business for another; an agent.
6. an agent entrusted with the possession of goods to be sold in the agent's name; a merchant earning a commission by selling goods belonging to others.
7. a person or business organization that provides money for another's new business venture; one who finances another's business.
8. See factor of production. 9. Scot.the steward or bailiff of an estate.
—v.t. 1. Math.to express (a mathematical quantity) as a product of two or more quantities of like kind, as 30 = 2•3•5, or x2 - y2 = (x + y) (x - y). Cf. expand (def. 4a).
2. to act as a factor for.
—v.i. 1. to act as a factor.
2. factor in or into, to include as an essential element, esp. in forecasting or planning: You must factor insurance payments into the cost of maintaining a car.