Pronunciation: /ˈfæk tər/ Explain

To factor is to divide an expression into parts which, when multiplied together, generate the original expression. For example if one factors

5t + 5

one gets

5(t + 1)

This can be tested by using the distributive property of multiplication to multiply 5 and t + 1 to get 5t + 5.

A factor of a number 'j' is another number, say 'i', that divides 'j'.


  1. Boyden, Wallace C.. A First Book in Algebra. pp 76-88. www.archive.org. Silver, Burdett & Company. 1894. Last Accessed 8/6/2018. http://www.archive.org/stream/firstbookinalgeb00boydrich#page/76/mode/1up/search/factor. Buy the book
  2. Schultze, Arthur. Advanced Algebra. pp 8-17. www.archive.org. The Macmillan Company. 1906. Last Accessed 8/6/2018. http://www.archive.org/stream/advancedalgebra00schugoog#page/n24/mode/1up/search/factor. Buy the book

More Information

  • McAdams, David E.. Factoring Polynomials. allmathwords.org. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. 2/3/2010. http://www.allmathwords.org/en/f/factoringpolynomials.html.

Cite this article as:

McAdams, David E. Factor. 7/11/2018. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. http://www.allmathwords.org/en/f/factor.html.

Revision History

7/9/2018: Removed broken links, updated license, implemented new markup, implemented new Geogebra protocol. (McAdams, David E.)
2/24/2010: Added noun. (McAdams, David E.)
2/3/2010: Added "References". (McAdams, David E.)
7/1/2008: Initial version. (McAdams, David E.)

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