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factor

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noun [countable] factor pronunciation in American English /ˈfæktər/ 
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singularfactor
pluralfactors
  1. 1
    one of the things that influence whether an event happens or the way that it happens

    We have tried to identify the factors that influence the age at which children leave school.

    factor in:

    Public pressure was a factor in the administration's decision.

    risk factor (=something that may cause something dangerous or harmful):

    Lack of exercise is also a risk factor for heart disease.

    an important/major/key factor:

    Safety is the single most important factor in a car's design.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of factor
  2. 2
    a measurement that shows how strong or large something is

    Use a sunscreen with a high protection factor.

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