1

vector

noun vec·tor \ ˈvek-tər \
Updated on: 9 Dec 2017

Definition of vector

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
b : pollinator a
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

play \vek-ˈtȯr-ē-əl\ adjective

vectorially

play \vek-ˈtȯr-ē-ə-lē\ adverb

Examples of vector in a Sentence

  1. a mosquito that is the principal vector of yellow fever

Recent Examples of vector from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of vector

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

Other Aeronautics/Aerospace Terms


2

vector

verb

Definition of vector

vectored; vectoring play \ˈvek-t(ə-)riŋ\
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

Recent Examples of vector from the Web

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

First Known Use of vector

1941

Other Aeronautics/Aerospace Terms


VECTOR Defined for English Language Learners

vector

noun

Definition of vector for English Language Learners

  • mathematics : a quantity (such as velocity) that has size and direction

  • : the course or direction of an airplane

  • biology : an insect, animal, etc., that carries germs that cause disease


VECTOR Defined for Kids

vector

noun vec·tor \ ˈvek-tər \

Definition of vector for Students

: a living thing (as a mosquito, fly, or tick) that carries and passes on a disease-causing microorganism

Medical Dictionary

1

vector

noun vec·tor \ ˈvek-tər \

medical Definition of vector

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 1a
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

play \vek-ˈtōr-ē-əl, -ˈtȯr-\ adjective

2

vector

transitive verb

medical Definition of vector

vectored; vectoring play \-t(ə-)riŋ\
: to transmit (a pathogen or disease) from one organism to another : act as a vector for
  • a disease vectored by flies


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up vector? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

of or relating to dancing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!