vector

1 of 2

noun

vec·​tor ˈvek-tər How to pronounce vector (audio)
plural vectors
1
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
2
a
: an organism (such as an insect) that transmits a pathogen from one organism or source to another
The insect vector in malaria is the anopheline mosquito, a genus comprising many species around the world.Frank Graham, Jr.
compare carrier sense 5a, reservoir sense 3
3
: an agent (such as a plasmid or virus) that contains or carries modified genetic material (such as recombinant DNA) and can be used to introduce exogenous genes into the genome of an organism
vector adjective
vectorial adjective
vectorially adverb

vector

2 of 2

verb

vectored; vectoring ˈvek-t(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce vector (audio)

transitive verb

1
: to guide (something or someone, such as an airplane, its pilot, or a missile) in flight by means of a radioed vector
2
: to change the direction of (the thrust of a jet engine) for steering

Examples of vector in a Sentence

Noun a mosquito that is the principal vector of yellow fever
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The jagged vectors of her playing bring to mind exploding suns seeding new worlds. Philip Sherburne, Pitchfork, 5 Mar. 2024 Capturing a graviton would give physicists two vectors of information. Quanta Magazine, 14 Mar. 2024 The yellow tulips are juicy and vivid thanks to the visible vectors of Bazille’s sculptural brushstrokes and the simple clarity of his contrasts. Washington Post, 7 Mar. 2024 Snowflake plans to offer customers Mistral’s LLMs alongside its own Snowflake Cortex fully managed LLM and vector database services. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 5 Mar. 2024 Over five hours, Carmack dishes on everything from vector operations to Doom. Sheon Han, WIRED, 4 Mar. 2024 Local transmission is now being reported in America’s warmer, wetter states, where the disease’s vector, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, already roams. Terrence McCoy, Washington Post, 10 Mar. 2024 With so much money at stake, McLaughlin’s job is likely to involve fighting scammers for the foreseeable future; Every time a fraud vector is closed, the scammers find a new one to exploit thanks to evolving AI developments and techniques. John Kell, Fortune, 6 Mar. 2024 The scientists designed the microchip to perform vector matrix multiplication operations. IEEE Spectrum, 4 Mar. 2024
Verb
The fans also have individual flaps to vector the thrust. Rohit Jaggi, Robb Report, 15 Aug. 2022 That ability to vector torque towards traction should endow the Hummer EV with an unprecedented ability to keep moving forward through even the gnarliest of slippery conditions. Wes Siler, Outside Online, 21 Oct. 2020 In 1998 an insect called the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) showed up in Florida and caused concern because it was known to vector this disease while feeding on the tree’s sap. Steven Savage, Forbes, 26 Jan. 2022 With its massive tires, all-wheel drive, and torque-vectoring rear differential, the Urus produced 1.04 g of grip on the skidpad and stopped from 70 mph in 150 feet, basically matching the stock version's results. Scott Oldham, Car and Driver, 19 Mar. 2020 On the street version, the front electric motors generate a torque-vectoring effect that manages traction while turning. Eric Adams, Wired, 17 Feb. 2020 The test vehicle, an all-wheel-drive Elite model, uses computerized torque vectoring to send up to 70% of the powertrain’s torque between axles, and 100% between wheels for better traction while cornering. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 25 Jan. 2020 The Sport Chrono package, which includes torque vectoring with a mechanical limited-slip differential, is also standard. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, 15 Jan. 2020 Both harnessed broader disruptive energies — away from entrenched party establishments and toward a more populist and nationally vectored politics. Fred Bauer, National Review, 13 Dec. 2019

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

earlier, short for radius vector, borrowed from Latin, "carrier, conveyer," from vec-, alternate stem of vehere "to convey, carry" + -tor, agent suffix — more at way entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1941, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of vector was in 1846

Dictionary Entries Near vector

Cite this Entry

“Vector.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vector. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

vector

noun
vec·​tor
ˈvek-tər
1
: a quantity that has magnitude and direction and that is usually represented by a line segment with the given direction and with a length representing the magnitude
2
: an organism (as an insect) that carries and passes on a disease-causing microbe

Medical Definition

vector

1 of 2 noun
vec·​tor ˈvek-tər How to pronounce vector (audio)
1
: a quantity that has magnitude and direction and that is usually represented by part of a straight line with the given direction and with a length representing the magnitude
2
: an organism (as an insect) that transmits a pathogen from one organism or source to another
fleas are vectors of plague
compare carrier sense 1a, reservoir sense 2
3
: 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
vectorial adjective

vector

2 of 2 transitive verb
vectored; vectoring -t(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce vector (audio)
: to transmit (a pathogen or disease) from one organism to another : act as a vector for
a disease vectored by flies

More from Merriam-Webster on vector

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