Definition of factory in English:



  • 1A building or group of buildings where goods are manufactured or assembled chiefly by machine:

    ‘a clothing factory’
    [as modifier] ‘factory workers’
    • ‘Employers must put in place proper controls to protect workers from hazards in factories, on building sites and on farms.’
    • ‘By the 1860s, 191 of his machines were installed in factories on the continent.’
    • ‘However, if you are under 16, by law you cannot work in a factory, building site or pub.’
    • ‘This water is highly contaminated with dolomite from the cement manufacturing factories.’
    • ‘Some factories and manufacturers are creating jobs, especially in the nearby Cornwallis Park.
    • ‘He was dependent on his backers to provide the money for the building of the factory and had to take note of their opinions.’
    • ‘Building of factories would create jobs for hundreds of villagers.’
    • ‘The physical layouts of buildings and factories and equipment had to be redesigned.’
    • ‘The company has a niche market in building roads and bespoke factories in Scotland.’
    • ‘Ford recently announced it will close four U.S. factories and a truck assembly plant in Canada.’
    • ‘These sturdy bloomers can be handled by machine in plant-growing factories.’
    • ‘Under the new plans the sweets will continue to be manufactured at the factory in Cleckheaton.’
    • ‘All went well except no one said anything about us having permission to use the building as a factory.’
    • ‘Like the bridge, the Poplar Gardens flats were created in a factory and assembled on site.’
    • ‘Looking back, it is tempting to see the whole century as preparing the ground for factories and machines.’
    • ‘You are free to wander at your own pace through nearly three-quarters of a mile of shop fronts, factories and other buildings.’
    • ‘Is it any wonder why American manufacturers are building factories overseas?’
    • ‘It is believed that parts will be sent back to the York factory from there for assembly in the future.’
    • ‘More people need more land for buildings, factories, farms, and roads.’
    • ‘The Fire Brigade spokesman said the fire originated at a machine in the factory.’
    works, plant, manufacturing complex, manufacturing facility, yard, mill, industrial unit, business unit
    workshop, shop
    shop floor
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with modifier] A person or organization that continually produces a great quantity of something specified:
      ‘the group have become a rock-and-roll hit factory’
      • ‘The major sources of syndicated material are wire services or news factories such as AAP and Reuters.’
      • ‘The fun was subsidised by the huge salaries writers were receiving from the Hollywood dream factory.’
      • ‘Private health factories aren't going to happen here, nor are privately run state schools.’
  • 2historical An establishment for traders carrying on business in a foreign country:

    ‘he is chaplain to the British factory at St Petersburg’
    • ‘In the next two years, it managed to build its first factory (as the trading posts were known) in the town of Machilipatnam on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal.’
    • ‘A very small trade was indulged in spasmodically on the coast of Fukien, and it was not until 1762 that a Dutch factory was established at Canton.’


Late 16th century (in factory): via Portuguese feitoria from medieval Latin factoria, from Latin factor (see factor). factory based on late Latin factorium, literally oil press.