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1. One that actively contributes to an accomplishment, result, or process: "Surprise is the greatest factor in war" (Tom Clancy). See Synonyms at element.
a. One who acts for someone else; an agent.
b. One who purchases accounts receivable at a discount.
3. Mathematics One of two or more quantities that divides a given quantity without a remainder. For example, 2 and 3 are factors of 6; a and b are factors of ab.
4. A quantity by which a stated quantity is multiplied or divided, so as to indicate an increase or decrease in a measurement: The rate increased by a factor of ten.
5. A gene. No longer in technical usage.
6. Physiology A substance that functions in a specific biochemical reaction or bodily process, such as blood coagulation.
v. fac·tored, fac·tor·ing, fac·tors
To determine or indicate explicitly the factors of: If you factor 70, you get 2, 5, and 7.
To engage in purchasing accounts receivable at a discount.
Phrasal Verb:
factor in
To figure in: factored vacations in when preparing the schedule.

[Middle English factour, perpetrator, agent, from Old French facteur, from Latin factor, maker, from facere, to make; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.]

fac′tor·a·ble adj.
fac′tor·ship′ n.


1. (Commerce) the business of a factor
2. (Banking & Finance) the business of purchasing debts from clients at a discount and making a profit from their collection
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.factoring - (mathematics) the resolution of an entity into factors such that when multiplied together they give the original entity
resolving, resolution - analysis into clear-cut components
math, mathematics, maths - a science (or group of related sciences) dealing with the logic of quantity and shape and arrangement
References in periodicals archive ?
BNA (Arlington, VA) has published "American Factoring Law," an 800-page hardcover book that is designed to provide a detailed analysis of the legal and business issues of factors and factoring transactions.
The factor extraction procedure was principal axis factoring.
An alternative option that is already succeeding is the factoring of invoices and receivables.
Long since a staple of the garment industry in New York, the Carolinas, and Los Angeles, factoring is now widely available to commercial firms of just about any size in just about any industry.
Factoring a large number to determine its prime-number components typically takes a long time -- so much time on even the fastest available computers that an important method of encrypting digital information can count on the difficulty of factoring for maintaining security However, factoring techniques have improved sufficiently in recent years to bring numbers of more than 100 digits easily within range.
Export factoring is another alternative, and it's an especially cost-effective solution for companies with export sales to developed countries of more than $5 million annually.
factoring companies, which also describes factoring basics and includes a glossary of terms and a statistical overview of the factoring industry.
com, a leading resource for the invoice factoring industry, announced today it is offering free directory listings for account receivable factoring companies.
More industries use factoring to capitalize small businesses
But the reverse process -- factoring a large number to determine its components -- presents a formidable challenge.
OTC BB:EQUI) (the "Company") today announced that it has sold Equinox Factors, its factoring company, to Coast Capital Partners.
Prevalent in the textile and garment industries for centuries, factoring is also providing cash flow to the service, publishing and frozen foods sectors, among others, says Jones.