cat·​e·​go·​ry | \ ˈka-tə-ˌgȯr-ē How to pronounce category (audio) \
plural categories

Definition of category

1 : any of several fundamental and distinct classes to which entities or concepts belong Taxpayers fall into one of several categories.
2 : a division within a system of classification She competed for the award in her age category.

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web If the campaign succeeds in reaching its goal, trustees reported, each of three categories would receive $50 million. Robin Goist, cleveland, "University of Akron launches $150 million fundraising campaign," 12 Feb. 2020 These publishers cover a broad range of categories, including news and politics, business, entertainment, food, health, the outdoors, and of course, tech. Lauren Goode, Wired, "Flipboard Jumps Aboard the Subscription Video Train," 11 Feb. 2020 In the Neighborhood, earned a Supporting Actor nod for his work, but the film itself was closed out of all other categories. Kaitlin Reilly,, "The Oscars Opened With An Ode To The Snubbed Movies," 9 Feb. 2020 In this case, the Oscars’ most noted offscreen controversy — the glaring whiteness and maleness of many of the major categories and movies — didn’t get quite the airing an extended monologue might have delivered. James Poniewozik, New York Times, "A Driverless Oscars Takes a Winding Road," 9 Feb. 2020 Though some of the categories change, the list is a look into what customers are digging from the grocery store, which has developed somewhat of a cult following. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "Trader Joe's released its list of 2019's most favorite products," 8 Feb. 2020 Let’s clarify the meaning of these categories in four different ways. Quanta Magazine, "Did the Chicken Come First or Is It Turtles All the Way Down?," 6 Feb. 2020 Overall In six out of nine categories, the Lions are either close to or better than the Chiefs. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "How close are Detroit Lions to the Super Bowl champion Chiefs? Closer than you think," 5 Feb. 2020 Though Eilish sweetly insisted in her acceptance speech that Grande should've taken home album of the year for Thank U, Next, the teenage wunderkind eventually swept all of the Big Four categories over the course of the night. Glenn Rowley, Billboard, "This Video of Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande Hugging at the Grammys Is So Wholesome," 28 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'category.' 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 category

1588, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for category

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

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Time Traveler for category

Time Traveler

The first known use of category was in 1588

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Statistics for category

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Category.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce category (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of category

: a group of people or things that are similar in some way


cat·​e·​go·​ry | \ ˈka-tə-ˌgȯr-ē How to pronounce category (audio) \
plural categories

Kids Definition of category

: a basic division or grouping of things He competed in the junior category.

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