X factor


: a circumstance, quality, or person that has a strong but unpredictable influence

Examples of X factor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Here comes Anthony Hill Jr. The five-star freshman from Denton Ryan entered 2023 as a potential X factor for this Longhorns defense. Corey Smith, Dallas News, 10 Sep. 2023 Trump's mounting legal issues have become something of an X factor in the primary race. Aaron Navarro, CBS News, 7 Sep. 2023 Can Giolito be the X factor in Cleveland’s pursuit of the Twins in the American League Central? Joe Noga, cleveland, 4 Sep. 2023 Still, the X factor on this week’s chart was clearly the sales. Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone, 23 Aug. 2023 Whether Trump appears at the debate may be the X factor. Time, 17 Aug. 2023 Of all the components in the team’s late-season pitching plans, however, few are bigger than Bobby Miller — the 24-year-old phenom who could emerge as an X factor down the stretch or fade down the pecking order if rookie struggles mount. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 10 Aug. 2023 The only X factor reflected on the pages is that the company’s official corporate name is now X Corp. Todd Spangler, Variety, 24 July 2023 But what’s the X factor that separates a champion from a mere player with talent? Corey Seymour, Vogue, 21 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'X factor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1930, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of X factor was in 1930

Dictionary Entries Near X factor

Cite this Entry

“X factor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/X%20factor. Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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