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The divisors of 10 illustrated with Cuisenaire rods: 1, 2, 5, and 10

In mathematics, a divisor of an integer also called a factor of is an integer that may be multiplied by some integer to produce [1] In this case, one also says that is a multiple of An integer is divisible or evenly divisible by another integer if is a divisor of ; this implies dividing by leaves no remainder.


An integer is divisible by a nonzero integer if there exists an integer such that This is written as

This may be read as that divides is a divisor of is a factor of or is a multiple of If does not divide then the notation is [2][3]

There are two conventions, distinguished by whether is permitted to be zero:

  • With the convention without an additional constraint on for every integer [2][3]
  • With the convention that be nonzero, for every nonzero integer [4][5]


Divisors can be negative as well as positive, although often the term is restricted to positive divisors. For example, there are six divisors of 4; they are 1, 2, 4, −1, −2, and −4, but only the positive ones (1, 2, and 4) would usually be mentioned.

1 and −1 divide (are divisors of) every integer. Every integer (and its negation) is a divisor of itself. Integers divisible by 2 are called even, and integers not divisible by 2 are called odd.

1, −1, and are known as the trivial divisors of A divisor of that is not a trivial divisor is known as a non-trivial divisor (or strict divisor[6]). A nonzero integer with at least one non-trivial divisor is known as a composite number, while the units −1 and 1 and prime numbers have no non-trivial divisors.

There are divisibility rules that allow one to recognize certain divisors of a number from the number's digits.


Plot of the number of divisors of integers from 1 to 1000. Prime numbers have exactly 2 divisors, and highly composite numbers are in bold.
  • 7 is a divisor of 42 because so we can say It can also be said that 42 is divisible by 7, 42 is a multiple of 7, 7 divides 42, or 7 is a factor of 42.
  • The non-trivial divisors of 6 are 2, −2, 3, −3.
  • The positive divisors of 42 are 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 14, 21, 42.
  • The set of all positive divisors of 60, partially ordered by divisibility, has the Hasse diagram:

Further notions and facts[edit]

There are some elementary rules:

  • If and then i.e. divisibility is a transitive relation.
  • If and then or
  • If and then holds, as does [a] However, if and then does not always hold (e.g. and but 5 does not divide 6).

If and then [b] This is called Euclid's lemma.

If is a prime number and then or

A positive divisor of that is different from is called a proper divisor or an aliquot part of A number that does not evenly divide but leaves a remainder is sometimes called an aliquant part of

An integer whose only proper divisor is 1 is called a prime number. Equivalently, a prime number is a positive integer that has exactly two positive factors: 1 and itself.

Any positive divisor of is a product of prime divisors of raised to some power. This is a consequence of the fundamental theorem of arithmetic.

A number is said to be perfect if it equals the sum of its proper divisors, deficient if the sum of its proper divisors is less than and abundant if this sum exceeds

The total number of positive divisors of is a multiplicative function meaning that when two numbers and are relatively prime, then For instance, ; the eight divisors of 42 are 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 14, 21 and 42. However, the number of positive divisors is not a totally multiplicative function: if the two numbers and share a common divisor, then it might not be true that The sum of the positive divisors of is another multiplicative function (e.g. ). Both of these functions are examples of divisor functions.

If the prime factorization of is given by

then the number of positive divisors of is

and each of the divisors has the form

where for each

For every natural


where is Euler–Mascheroni constant. One interpretation of this result is that a randomly chosen positive integer n has an average number of divisors of about However, this is a result from the contributions of numbers with "abnormally many" divisors.

In abstract algebra[edit]

Ring theory[edit]

Division lattice[edit]

In definitions that allow the divisor to be 0, the relation of divisibility turns the set of non-negative integers into a partially ordered set that is a complete distributive lattice. The largest element of this lattice is 0 and the smallest is 1. The meet operation is given by the greatest common divisor and the join operation by the least common multiple. This lattice is isomorphic to the dual of the lattice of subgroups of the infinite cyclic group Z.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Similarly,
  2. ^ refers to the greatest common divisor.


  1. ^ Tanton 2005, p. 185
  2. ^ a b Hardy & Wright 1960, p. 1
  3. ^ a b Niven, Zuckerman & Montgomery 1991, p. 4
  4. ^ Sims 1984, p. 42
  5. ^ Durbin (2009), p. 57, Chapter III Section 10
  6. ^ "FoCaLiZe and Dedukti to the Rescue for Proof Interoperability by Raphael Cauderlier and Catherine Dubois" (PDF).
  7. ^ Hardy & Wright 1960, p. 264, Theorem 320