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.

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Other Words from classify

classifiable \ ˌkla-​sə-​ˈfī-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce classifiable (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 But those contracts are frequently classified, so the extent to which intelligence agencies are buying such data cannot be determined. Michelle Hackman, WSJ, "Federal Agencies Use Cellphone Location Data for Immigration Enforcement," 7 Feb. 2020 Uber developed the new tool in response to a new California law that changes how employees and contractors are classified. Tim Pearce, Washington Examiner, "Some California Uber drivers can set their own fares with new tool," 21 Jan. 2020 Homosexuality—once explained erroneously as the result of an overbearing mother—was classified as a form of mental illness in psychiatry's first diagnostic manual, published in 1952. The Editors, Scientific American, "A Nationwide Ban Is Needed for “Anti-Gay Therapy”," 13 Jan. 2020 Galloway was one of three Tigers suspended before the 2018 Cotton Bowl after testing positive for ostarine, classified as an anabolic agent by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Sights, sounds from Ohio State-Clemson Fiesta Bowl playoff semifinal," 28 Dec. 2019 The metropolitan area has around 6 million people, according to the latest census profile, and about 2.7 million are classified as immigrants — but that includes 600,000 who arrived before 1981 and another million who arrived prior to 2000. Hemal Jhaveri, For The Win, "Don Cherry's racist rant about immigrants should be his last," 10 Nov. 2019 Looking at images of the hosts, 11.5% could be classified as non-white, meaning 88.5% of podcast hosts appear white. Amanda Shendruk, Quartzy, "Only one in three chart-topping podcast hosts are women," 8 Nov. 2019 In many states, tampons and pads are not classified as a health care necessity and are subsequently not exempt from a sales tax. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "New York Becomes the First State to Require Disclosure of Menstrual Product Ingredients," 14 Oct. 2019 But in the past 10 years, lifestyle diseases and obesity have become global plagues, burnout has been classified as a health condition, and the assault of technology has disconnected our minds from our bodies and the natural world. Daisy Finer, Condé Nast Traveler, "Biomarkers, Sweat Lodges, and Shamans: Today's Wellness Retreats Go Far Beyond a Detox," 26 Aug. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for classify

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Classify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for classify


How to pronounce classify (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of classify

: to arrange (people or things) into groups based on ways that they are alike
: to consider (someone or something) as belonging to a particular group


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.
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

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