ADJ. important, main, major, relevant, significant one of the most significant factors | critical, crucial, deciding, decisive, determining, key, vital This is regarded as the crucial factor in deciding who should get priority. Money proved to be the deciding factor. | contributing, contributory Poor organization was certainly a contributory factor to the crisis. | complicating, distorting A complicating factor is her parents' refusal to cooperate with the police. | limiting | mitigating The appeal judges spoke of strong mitigating factors in the case. | aggravating | additional | single The closure of the mine was the single most important factor in the town's decline. | common Look for the common factor in all these cases. | external, extraneous, extrinsic External factors in the production of disease include pollution of the environment. | internal, intrinsic | causal, causative | risk Studies have established that smoking is a risk factor for cancer. | contextual, demographic, economic, environmental, genetic, political, psychological, situational, social
VERB + FACTOR consider, take into account A variety of other factors will be taken into account. | depend on
FACTOR + VERB be involved, operate the contextual factors which operate to hinder understanding | affect sth, be responsible for sth, contribute to sth, determine sth, influence sth, precipitate sth, predispose sb/sth to sth environmental factors which predispose children to middle-ear infections | constrain sth, inhibit sth, militate against sth one of the factors that influenced his decision | interact looking at how economic and social factors interact | include sth
PREP. ~ behind the main factors behind the dollar's weakness | ~ in a key factor in the decision
PHRASES a combination/number/range/variety of factors The outcome will depend on a number of factors.