noun vec·tor \ˈvek-tər\

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

Full Definition of VECTOR

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
a :  an organism (as an insect) that transmits a pathogen
b :  pollinator a
:  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
vec·to·ri·al \vek-ˈtr-ē-əl\ adjective
vec·to·ri·al·ly \-ə-lē\ adverb

Examples of VECTOR

  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

airway, apron, corridor, dirigible, fishtail, flat-hat, vector

Rhymes with VECTOR


vec·toredvec·tor·ing \-t(ə-)riŋ\

Definition of VECTOR

transitive verb
:  to guide (as an airplane, its pilot, or a missile) in flight by means of a radioed vector
:  to change the direction of (the thrust of a jet engine) for steering

First Known Use of VECTOR


Other Aeronautics/Aerospace Terms

airway, apron, corridor, dirigible, fishtail, flat-hat


Next Word in the Dictionary: vector additionPrevious Word in the Dictionary: vectographAll Words Near: vector
February 26, 2015
captious Hear it
Tending to find fault and raise objections
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears