factor

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gut factor

The subjective, emotional element or dimension that influences a decision. All three candidates appear ideal for the position, so we'll have to rely on the gut factor when we make our choice.
See also: factor, gut

x factor

A unique and noteworthy quality that makes someone or something exceptional. There are a lot of really talented singers in this contest, but I think Molly's x factor is her stage presence. A lot of similar products are on the market right now—ours has to have an X factor!
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fudge factor

Fig. a margin of error. I never use a fudge factor. I measure correctly, and I cut the material exactly the way I measured it. I built in a fudge factor of three percent.
See also: factor, fudge

factor in

Figure in, include as a basic element. For example, In preparing the schedule we factored in vacation and sick days. This term comes from mathematics. [Mid-1900s]
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sleaze factor

The element in a political party, administration, or other organization that is corrupt, controversial, or tainted by scandal. For example, I can't see myself making a campaign contribution to them-there's too much of a sleaze factor . This slangy expression derives from the adjective sleazy, which means "vulgar" or "tawdry." The idiom was first used in politics in the 1980s.
See also: factor, sleaze

factor in

v.
1. To take something into account; take something into consideration; figure something in: We factored sick days and vacations in when we prepared the work schedule. The boss factored in overtime when giving out bonuses.
2. To be taken into account or consideration; to be figured in: These observations are interesting, but they don't really factor in.
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factor out

v.
1. To reanalyze a situation or problem in order to remove something from consideration: If we factor out personal details, it seems that everyone has the same story. If we factor the bad data out, the results are predictable.
2. Mathematics To rewrite an expression so that something, especially a constant or variable, appearing more than once in the expression appears only once: By factoring the shared terms out of the expression, we can easily solve the equation. The teacher factored out 3x from both sides of the equation 6x^3 + 9x^2 + 12x = 24x.
See also: factor, out

fudge factor

n. a margin of error. I never use a fudge factor. I measure correctly, and I cut the material exactly the way I measured it.
See also: factor, fudge