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[fak-tuh-ree, -tree] /ˈfæk tə ri, -tri/
noun, plural factories.
a building or group of buildings with facilities for the manufacture of goods.
any place producing a uniform product, without concern for individuality:
They call it a law school, but it's just a degree factory.
(formerly) an establishment for factors and merchants carrying on business in a foreign country.
Origin of factory
1550-60; < Medieval Latin factōria. See factor, -y3
Related forms
factorylike, adjective
subfactory, noun, plural subfactories. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for factories
  • The original point of separating factories from residential areas was to reduce exposure to dangerous pollution.
  • Ports and airports, farms and factories will thrive with trade and innovation and ideas.
  • Their function was by revolutionary action to take over and run the factories.
  • Where they were are rows of factories, empty and silent at night.
  • From that time until the end of the war trade was active, factories busy, labor constantly employed and failures remarkably few.
  • The best places to buy them are directly at the factories that continue to produce them using traditional methods.
  • We have more automobile plants than the north, and many other factories as many have moved south.
  • Coastal factories are increasing hourly payments to workers.
  • Most come from the combustion of fossil fuels in cars, factories and electricity production.
  • The electricity can be transported over long-distance electric lines to homes, factories, and businesses.
British Dictionary definitions for factories


noun (pl) -ries
  1. a building or group of buildings containing a plant assembly for the manufacture of goods
  2. (as modifier): a factory worker
(rare) a trading station maintained by factors in a foreign country
(Canadian) (formerly) a main trading station for the exchange and transshipment of furs
Derived Forms
factory-like, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin factorium; see factor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for factories



1550s, "estate manager's office," from Middle French factorie, from Late Latin factorium "office for agents (factors)," also "oil press, mill," from Latin factor "doer, maker" (see factor (n.)). Sense of "building for making goods" is first attested 1610s. Factory farm attested from 1890.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for factories


combining word

Place where what is indicated is done, pursued, used, etc •A jocular appropriation of the term: brain factory/ freak factory/ nut factory (1920s+)


The apparatus used for injecting narcotics; works (1940s+ Narcotics)

Related Terms

bone factory, cracker factory, joint factory, nuthouse

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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