multifactorial

adjective
mul·​ti·​fac·​to·​ri·​al | \ ˌməl-tē-fak-ˈtȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce multifactorial (audio) , -ˌtī- \

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 \ ˌməl-​tē-​ˈfak-​tər How to pronounce multifactorial (audio) , -​ˌtī-​ \ : 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

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Other Words from multifactorial

multifactorially \ ˌməl-​tē-​fak-​ˈtȯr-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce multifactorial (audio) , -​ˌtī-​ \ adverb

Examples of multifactorial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At autopsy, researchers have reported the presence of viral protein in the actual heart muscle of deceased patients—so viral involvement is possible, though the true etiology may be multifactorial. Carolyn Barber, Fortune, "With COVID raging, why are we even still playing college basketball?," 14 Dec. 2020 While heart disease is always multifactorial, Berger says stress is a key health factor that can’t be ignored. Claire Maldarelli, Popular Science, "Half of Americans have heart disease, but there are easy ways to reduce your risk," 7 Feb. 2019 Multiple behavioral, psychophysiological, and neuroimaging studies have shown that the placebo response is a real, multifactorial effect associated with changes in biochemical pathways in the brain. Erica Smith, STAT, "The placebo response: a hidden risk to Covid-19 trials," 13 Oct. 2020 While women appear to have more robust immune systems, these experts say, the causes are complex and multifactorial, and hormones are only part of the picture. Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, "Can Estrogen and Other Sex Hormones Help Men Survive Covid-19?," 27 Apr. 2020 While women appear to have more robust immune systems, these experts say, the causes are complex and multifactorial, and hormones are only part of the picture. Roni Caryn Rabin, BostonGlobe.com, "Can estrogen and other sex hormones help men survive COVID-19?," 27 Apr. 2020 Use multifactorial verification for important accounts like bank and retirement accounts to prevent anyone else from accessing your personal data. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "The biggest threat to U.S. election security may not be what you think," 9 Jan. 2020 Vaping impacts on teen health not fully known The adverse and multifactorial effects of vaping on growing and impressionable adolescents are on the rise. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Vaping impacts on teen health are not fully known," 19 Sep. 2019 Complex, interdependent multifactorial causes arise often in nature and therefore in science. Quanta Magazine, "The Slippery Math of Causation," 30 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of multifactorial

1920, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of multifactorial was in 1920

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Cite this Entry

“Multifactorial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/multifactorial. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for multifactorial

multifactorial

adjective
mul·​ti·​fac·​to·​ri·​al | \ -fak-ˈtōr-ē-əl, -ˈtȯr- How to pronounce multifactorial (audio) \

Medical 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 \ -​ˈfak-​tər How to pronounce multifactorial (audio) \ : having, involving, or produced by a variety of elements or causes a multifactorial study a disease with a multifactorial etiology Ligament damage, particularly in a throwing arm, is a complex, multifactorial process.— Matt McCarthy

Other Words from multifactorial

multifactorially \ -​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce multifactorial (audio) \ adverb
multifactoriality \ -​ˌtōr-​ē-​ˈal-​ət-​ē, -​ˌtȯr-​ How to pronounce multifactorial (audio) \ noun, plural multifactorialities

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