A factor, a Latin word meaning 'who/which acts', may refer to:

In commerce:

  • Factor (agent), a person who acts for another, notably a mercantile and/or colonial agent
  • Factor (Scotland), a person or firm managing a Scottish estate
  • Factors of production, a resource used in the production of goods and services
  • Factoring (finance), an entity providing commercial finance services
  • Max Factor, a cosmetics company founded by Max Factor, Sr.

In biology:

  • Factor B and factor D, peptides involved in the alternate pathway of immune system complement activation
  • Coagulation factors, substances essential for blood coagulation
  • Environmental factor, any abiotic or biotic factor that affects life
  • An enzyme, proteins that catalyze chemical reactions

In mathematics:

  • Divisor, an integer which evenly divides a number without leaving a remainder
  • Factorization, the decomposition of an object into a product of other objects
  • Integer factorization, the process of breaking down a composite number into smaller non-trivial divisors
  • A coefficient, a multiplicative factor in an expression, usually a number
  • A von Neumann algebra with a trivial center
  • Factor (graph theory), a spanning subgraph
  • Any finite contiguous subsequence of a word

In statistics:

  • A categorical variable
  • Factor analysis is the study of how factors or certain variables affect other variables

In physics:

  • Sun protection factor, a unit describing reduction in transmitted ultraviolet light

In technology:

  • Human factors, a profession that focuses on how people interact with products, tools, or procedures.

In computer science and information technology:

  • Authentication factor, a piece of information used to verify a person's identity for security purposes
  • Factor (programming language), a concatenative stack-oriented programming language
  • A substring, a subsequence of consecutive symbols in a string

In scientific method:

  • A phenomenon presumed to affect an experiment; see design of experiments

In television:

  • The O'Reilly Factor, an American talk show hosted by Bill O'Reilly on Fox News
  • The Krypton Factor, a British game show hosted by Gordon Burns, formerly on ITV
    • The Krypton Factor (US game show) American version


  • Max Factor, Sr., a Polish-American businessman and cosmetician
  • Max Factor, Jr., son of the above, born Francis Factor
  • John Factor, a Prohibition-era gangster


  • FACTOR, the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Records

Famous quotes containing the word factor:

    You factor in racism as a reality and you keep moving.
    Jewell Jackson McCabe (b. 1945)

    In his very rejection of art Walt Whitman is an artist. He tried to produce a certain effect by certain means and he succeeded.... He stands apart, and the chief value of his work is in its prophecy, not in its performance. He has begun a prelude to larger themes. He is the herald to a new era. As a man he is the precursor of a fresh type. He is a factor in the heroic and spiritual evolution of the human being. If Poetry has passed him by, Philosophy will take note of him.
    Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)

    Weapons are an important factor in war, but not the decisive factor; it is people, not things, that are decisive. The contest of strength is not only a contest of military and economic power, but also a contest of human power and morale. Military and economic power is necessarily wielded by people.
    Mao Zedong (1893–1976)