# 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.

## 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!

See also: factor

## 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.

## 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]See also: factor

## 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.## fudge factor

a 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’.

## 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.

See also: factor

## 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.

## 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.

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