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.

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Some of the pages in that category had thousands of likes. Washington Post, "The Technology 202: The tech industry's shift to remote work will forever change Silicon Valley," 21 May 2020 Many of the farms and bakeries that Mike’s Organic works with fell into that category: They were focused on restaurants who bought large quantities and were predictable customers. Paul Sullivan, New York Times, "Keeping Your Business Going May Mean Both Growing and Shrinking," 18 May 2020 Millions of black Americans found new jobs in recent years, pushing the unemployment rate for that category down to an all-time low in August 2019. Gregory Korte,, "Trump’s Jobs Bet Unravels on Worst Slump Since Depression," 10 May 2020 Trump and his administration say the pending matters fall into that category because they are not designed to accomplish any legitimate end, just to bug the president and interfere with his work. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Will the US Supreme Court let Trump keep his many secrets?," 10 May 2020 White-collar workers who are capable of doing their jobs at home—and the three of us are included in that category—our lives have changed, but largely our incomes have shored up. The Atlantic, "Listen: So the Economy Is a Disaster," 6 May 2020 The Lions finished 21st in the NFL in rushing last season and have not ranked in the top half of the NFL in that category since Sanders’ final season in 1998. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions banking on second-round pick D'Andre Swift to be next great Georgia RB," 25 Apr. 2020 The percentage falling into that latter category has increased since the first 10 days of use, when about 17 percent were advised to seek emergency services. Casey Ross, STAT, "How a coronavirus symptom checker came to steer patients to care from Texas to Estonia," 21 Apr. 2020 De Morigny falls into that category, as does Phillip Kent, the food bank’s director of communications and marketing. Tom Orsborn,, "In time of high stress, San Antonio Food Bank staff puts needs of community first," 21 Apr. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about category

Time Traveler for category

Time Traveler

The first known use of category was in 1588

See more words from the same year

Statistics for category

Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Category.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for category


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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on category

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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