Definition of factory in US English:



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

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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


Late 16th century (in factory (sense 2)): via Portuguese feitoria from medieval Latin factoria, from Latin factor (see factor). factory (sense 1) based on late Latin factorium, literally ‘oil press’.