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Pronunciation: fak'tor


  1. One of the contributing causes in any action.
  2. One of the components that by multiplication makes up a number or expression.
  3. A vitamin or other essential element.
  4. An event, characteristic, or other definable entity that brings about a change in health.
  5. A categoric independent variable, used to identify, by means of numeric codes, membership in a qualitatively identifiable group; for example, overcrowding is a factor in disease transmission.

Synonym(s): gene

[L. maker, causer, fr. facio, to make]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.