Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to factor: Factor Models
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.
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!
To incorporate or involve something in something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "factor" and "in." Before you accept this job offer, you need to factor in how long the commute is.
1. To exclude something or keep it from being incorporated into something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "factor" and "out." Before you accept this job offer, you need to factor out everyone else's opinions and think about what you really want.
2. In mathematics, to change an equation so that something (such as a variable) used multiple times is instead used once. A noun or pronoun can be used between "factor" and "out." OK, what do we need to factor out in order solve this equation?
Room for error or mistakes. I'm not very good at math, so I always leave a fudge factor when I'm tallying up my expenditures for the month.
An aspect, element, or part of a group, organization, campaign, activity, etc., that engages in, is tainted by, or is known for immoral, corrupt, or scandalous behavior. We're aiming to create a dating website for professional adults, without the sleaze factor for which some of our competitors are known. The deregulation of this industry has caused the sleaze factor to skyrocket, as people motivated purely by greed now have myriad ways to manipulate the system.
serve as the driving force (behind someone or something)
To act as the instigator, catalyst, or motivator that compels someone to do something or causes something to happen. While they haven't admitted why they reversed their decision, everyone knows the lawsuit served as the driving factor. The willingness of the banks to let anyone and everyone get a mortgage, whether or not they would be able to meet their repayments, served as the single biggest driving factor behind the financial crisis. My family has always served as the driving factor behind me.
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.
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]
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.
fudge factora figure which is included in a calculation in order to account for some unquantified but significant phenomenon or to ensure a desired result.
Fudge, apparently originating in the mid 18th century as an exclamation of disgust or irritation, later acquired a specific verbal sense in printers' jargon, meaning to ‘do work imperfectly or as best you can with the materials available’.
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.
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.
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.
The part of a situation or organization that is sordid or corrupt. The word sleaze has been used in the sense of immoral or corrupt since about 1960. The entire phrase is used mostly for components of an administration, political party, or campaign. An article by Joshua E. Keating was headlined, “Sleaze Factor, Is There an Epidemic of Corruption in the World’s Democracies?” (Foreign Policy, July 12, 2010). An article about a television reality show was headlined, “Critics Blame Big Media for Sleaze Factor” (Frank Ahrens, Washington Post, February 11, 2004).