clas·​si·​fy | \ ˈkla-sə-ˌfī How to pronounce classify (audio) \
classified; classifying

Definition of classify

transitive verb

1 : to arrange in classes (see class entry 1 sense 3) classifying books according to subject matter
2 : to consider (someone or something) as belonging to a particular group The movie is classified as a comedy. The vehicle is classified as a truck.

Other Words from classify

classifiable \ ˌkla-​sə-​ˈfī-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce classify (audio) \ adjective

Examples of classify in a Sentence

Students will be learning about the ways scientists classify animals. The online system can classify books by subject.
Recent Examples on the Web Executives have already begun working with British regulators to have Thymia games approved by the end of the summer, hoping to classify them as a medical device that would allow formal usage in doctors’ offices. Washington Post, 28 Apr. 2022 Musk later refiled his disclosure to classify himself as an active investor. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 11 Apr. 2022 Voter approval last November of Proposition 22, sponsored by ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft, allowed those companies to classify their drivers as contractors, but did not apply to the truckers. Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 Oct. 2021 Following a $200 million effort by Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and other on-demand delivery companies, residents in the US state voted to override a bill that would have forced gig economy companies to classify their workers as employees. Morgan Meaker, Wired, 10 Dec. 2021 Late last year, following a heavy lobbying campaign by Uber and others, Californian voters decided such companies should be exempted from a state law requiring them to classify their workers as employees. David Meyer, Fortune, 9 Dec. 2021 Her progressive followers, key for any fight against Uber and Lyft-backed efforts to classify workers as contractors, would be crucial in tipping the scales., 4 Nov. 2021 This law gives gig-economy employers the right to classify their workers as independent contractors instead of employees. Tom Spiggle, Forbes, 3 Nov. 2021 The ruling comes at a time when the companies are battling efforts in Massachusetts and other states to classify their workers as employees rather than independent contractors. Justin Ray, Los Angeles Times, 23 Aug. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'classify.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of classify

1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for classify

see class entry 1

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Time Traveler for classify

Time Traveler

The first known use of classify was in 1776

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Dictionary Entries Near classify



class interval

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Statistics for classify

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Classify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for classify


clas·​si·​fy | \ ˈkla-sə-ˌfī How to pronounce classify (audio) \
classified; classifying

Kids Definition of classify

: to arrange in groups based on similarities Our librarians classify books by subject.


transitive verb
clas·​si·​fy | \ ˈklas-ə-ˌfī How to pronounce classify (audio) \
classified; classifying

Medical Definition of classify

: to arrange in classes that have systematic relations usually founded on common properties how would you classify these animals

More from Merriam-Webster on classify

Nglish: Translation of classify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of classify for Arabic Speakers


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