multifactorial

adjective mul·ti·fac·to·ri·al \ -fak-ˈtȯr-ē-əl \
|Updated on: 19 Jun 2018

Definition of multifactorial

1 : caused or marked by a polygenic mode of inheritance dependent on a number of genes at different loci
  • The essence of multifactorial (polygenic) inheritance is that a single component of the phenotype (a single character) can be controlled by several independent gene loci.
  • —Ernst Mayr
also : caused by or dependent on the interaction of multiple genes combined with one or more environmental factors
  • Breast cancer is what scientists call "multifactorial" in that a variety of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors are thought to play a role.
  • —Francesca Lyman
2 or multifactor play \-ˈfak-tər\ : having, involving, or produced by a variety of elements or causes
  • a multifactorial approach
  • multifactor authentication
  • Ligament damage, particularly in a throwing arm, is a complex, multifactorial process.
  • —Matt McCarthy

multifactorially

play \-fak-ˈtȯr-ē-ə-lē\ adverb

Recent Examples of multifactorial from the Web

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

First Known Use of multifactorial

1920

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
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Medical Dictionary

multifactorial

adjective mul·ti·fac·to·ri·al \ -fak-ˈtōr-ē-əl, -ˈtȯr- \

medical Definition of multifactorial

1 : having characters or a mode of inheritance dependent on a number of genes at different loci
2 or multifactor play \-ˈfak-tər\ : having, involving, or produced by a variety of elements or causes
  • a multifactorial study
  • a disease with a multifactorial etiology

multifactorially

play \-ē-ə-lē\ adverb

multifactoriality

play \-ˌtōr-ē-ˈal-ət-ē, -ˌtȯr-\ noun, plural -ties

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