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From Middle French factorie, from Medieval Latin factoria, from Latin factor. Compare Italian fattoria, Spanish factoría, Portuguese feitoria, Dutch factorij.



factory (plural factories)

  1. (obsolete) A trading establishment, especially set up by merchants working in a foreign country.
  2. (now rare) The position or state of being a factor.
  3. A building or other place where manufacturing takes place.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      […] St. Bede's at this period of its history was perhaps the poorest and most miserable parish in the East End of London. Close-packed, crushed by the buttressed height of the railway viaduct, rendered airless by huge walls of factories, it at once banished lively interest from a stranger's mind and left only a dull oppression of the spirit.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 7, in The China Governess[1]:
      The highway to the East Coast which ran through the borough of Ebbfield had always been a main road and even now, despite the vast garages, the pylons and the gaily painted factory glasshouses which had sprung up beside it, there still remained an occasional trace of past cultures.
  4. A device which produces or manufactures something.
  5. (programming) In a computer program or library, a function, method, etc. which creates an object.
    • 2010, Sayed Ibrahim Hashimi, William Bartholomew, Inside the Microsoft Build Engine
      The task factory [] is the object that is responsible for creating instances of those tasks dynamically.


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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Further readingEdit


factory (not comparable)

  1. (colloquial, of a configuration, part, etc.) Having come from the factory in the state it is currently in; original, stock.
    See how there's another layer of metal there? That's not factory.