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.

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 Gaming is in a separate category of digital usage that’s been shown over many years to confer numerous brain benefits, researchers say. Julie Jargon, WSJ, 14 May 2022 When the pair meet with agents, for instance, Joy is comfortable with every category of adult entertainment, whereas Bella wants strictly conventional set-ups: Boy-girl, girl-girl. Robert Daniels, Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2022 Each short doc also won a $3,000 cash prize and qualifies for consideration in the Documentary Short Subject category of the Academy Awards. Jennie Punter, Variety, 7 May 2022 Later discoveries of similar systems were lumped together in the category of black widow binaries, which became a subset of the general classification of spider binaries. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 4 May 2022 In the unusual category of Single Estate VSOP Cognac, the sole winner of a Master Medal was Hermitage Cognac, Hermitage 10 YO Grande Champagne Cognac. Joseph V Micallef, Forbes, 1 May 2022 That discovery paved the way for a new category of synthetic scents that would help democratize fragrance. ELLE, 30 Apr. 2022 The building of a city hall is permissible under the category of off-setting pandemic related losses to city departments, said National League of Cities Legislative Director Michael Wallace. John Tuohy, The Indianapolis Star, 29 Apr. 2022 In the battle of sunscreens that deserve a spot in your skin-care routine, the best Korean sunscreens are in a category of their own. Glamour, 27 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near category



category killer

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for category

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Category.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for category


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on category

Nglish: Translation of category for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of category for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about category


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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