Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

vector

play
noun vec·tor \ˈvek-tər\

Simple Definition of vector

  • mathematics : a quantity (such as velocity) that has size and direction

  • : the course or direction of an airplane

  • biology : an insect, animal, etc., that carries germs that cause disease

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of vector

  1. 1 a :  a quantity that has magnitude and direction and that is commonly represented by a directed line segment whose length represents the magnitude and whose orientation in space represents the direction; broadly :  an element of a vector space b :  a course or compass direction especially of an airplane

  2. 2 a :  an organism (as an insect) that transmits a pathogen b :  pollinator a

  3. 3 :  an agent (as a plasmid or virus) that contains or carries modified genetic material (as recombinant DNA) and can be used to introduce exogenous genes into the genome of an organism

vector adjective
vectorial play \vek-ˈtȯr-ē-əl\ adjective
vectorially play \-ə-lē\ adverb

Examples of vector in a sentence

  1. a mosquito that is the principal vector of yellow fever



Origin of vector

New Latin, from Latin, carrier, from vehere to carry — more at way


First Known Use: 1846

Other Aeronautics/Aerospace Terms

Rhymes with vector


2

vector

verb vec·tor

Definition of vector

vectoredvectoring play \-t(ə-)riŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to guide (as an airplane, its pilot, or a missile) in flight by means of a radioed vector

  3. 2 :  to change the direction of (the thrust of a jet engine) for steering



1941

First Known Use of vector

1941

Other Aeronautics/Aerospace Terms


VECTOR Defined for Kids

vector

play
noun vec·tor \ˈvek-tər\

Definition of vector for Students

  1. :  a living thing (as a mosquito, fly, or tick) that carries and passes on a disease-causing microorganism





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up vector? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a smart aleck

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

prompt maudlin angry oily
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ