cat·​e·​go·​ry ˈka-tə-ˌgȯr-ē How to pronounce category (audio)
plural categories
: any of several fundamental and distinct classes to which entities or concepts belong
Taxpayers fall into one of several categories.
: a division within a system of classification
She competed for the award in her age category.

Examples of category in a Sentence

The cars belong to the same category. Taxpayers fall into one of several categories. She competed for the award in her age category.
Recent Examples on the Web Instantly describing an enviable lifestyle, this rare category of property encompasses a significant portion of the most expensive and desirable homes worldwide. Spencer Elliott, Forbes, 17 Feb. 2024 Turkey's Murat Firat, right, competes against Armenia's Slavik Galstyan in a men's Greco-Roman, 67-kilogram category bronze-medal wrestling match during the European Wrestling Championships, in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday. WSJ, 17 Feb. 2024 Earning high marks across all categories by our testing team, the Black+Decker Tumbling Composter is one of the best compost bins available today. Paige Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 Feb. 2024 Yes, the East Coast gambling capital on the Jersey Shore, which is located just an hour from Philadelphia and two hours from New York, has topped the rankings, scoring a perfect 10/10 based on several categories. Stefanie Waldek, Travel + Leisure, 15 Feb. 2024 And, in fact, many major categories of crime — including rape, murder and shootings — have decreased, according to an analysis of the New York Police Department’s month-by-month statistics since April 2022. Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner, New York Times, 15 Feb. 2024 Meanwhile, some categories of crime continue to fall. David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times, 15 Feb. 2024 The 78-year-old Wenders is enjoying a late-career boom, receiving an Oscar nomination in the best international feature category for Perfect Days, his Tokyo-set drama starring Koji Yakusho as a philosophical toilet cleaner. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Feb. 2024 The top categories were suspenseful, and the wins cathartic, occasionally historic. Andrew Unterberger, Billboard, 5 Feb. 2024 See More

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

Word History


Late Latin categoria, from Greek katēgoria predication, category, from katēgorein to accuse, affirm, predicate, from kata- + agora public assembly, from ageirein to gather

First Known Use

1588, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of category was in 1588

Dictionary Entries Near category

Cite this Entry

“Category.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


cat·​e·​go·​ry ˈkat-ə-ˌgōr-ē How to pronounce category (audio)
plural categories
: one of the divisions or groupings used in a system of classification
"species" and "genus" are biological categories

More from Merriam-Webster on category

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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