fudge factor

noun

Definition of fudge factor

: an arbitrary mathematical term inserted into a calculation in order to arrive at an expected solution or to allow for errors especially of underestimation broadly : any arbitrary unspecified factor

Examples of fudge factor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This has led to a fudge factor in the literature — guesstimates that 10% of the micrometeoroidal matter sticks to the ice and pollutes it. Quanta Magazine, "Are Saturn’s Rings Really as Young as the Dinosaurs?," 26 Nov. 2019 This part of her plan should be treated as a fudge factor and statement of political positioning, nothing more. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 7 Nov. 2019 Add in a fudge factor of another 20 miles, and searchers ended up with a search box that stretched 40 nautical miles on either side of the final ping arc. Jeff Wise, Popular Mechanics, "Where Did the Search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Go So Wrong?," 22 July 2016 The hope is to string together results from different size scales in a way that minimizes the need for fudge factors, researchers say. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Galaxy simulations are at last matching reality—and producing surprising insights into cosmic evolution," 30 May 2018 The work on counting universes arose from an effort to understand a fudge factor known as the cosmological constant, an antigravitational force associated with empty space that Einstein invented in 1917 to explain why the universe was stable. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "Joseph Polchinski, 63, Leading Theorist on Multiple Universes, Dies," 7 Feb. 2018 Nor is there any better explanation for Einstein’s fudge factor. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "Joseph Polchinski, 63, Leading Theorist on Multiple Universes, Dies," 7 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fudge factor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fudge factor

1962, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of fudge factor was in 1962

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Cite this Entry

“Fudge factor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fudge%20factor. Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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