clas·si·fy | \ ˈkla-sə-ˌfī \
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 \ 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 any time someone deliberately hurts herself is classified as self-harm. Fiza Pirani, ajc, "Nearly 1 in 4 teen girls in the US self-harm, massive high school survey finds," 12 July 2018 They are classified as carnivores but will eat almost anything. Cheryl Conley, Houston Chronicle, "The top dog: Coyotes are interesting canines," 10 July 2018 Many fitness trackers are classified by U.S. regulations as accelerometers. Todd C. Frankel,, "Ford's creative efforts to avoid $250 million in 'chicken tax' tariffs under scrutiny," 9 July 2018 At 5-10, 191, Gray is classified by recruiting services as an all-purpose back. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football getting 'thunder and lightning' with running backs," 8 July 2018 Six of the world’s seven species of sea turtle inhabit Indonesia’s waters, and all of them are classified as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered. New York Times, "Saving Turtles in Bali, Egg by Precious Egg," 7 July 2018 The bike offers pedals, as well, which Bhagat said are a requirement by law — otherwise, the bikes would be classified as mopeds. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "South Milwaukee Police add motorized, locally built 'Cheata Bike' to their relaunched bicycle patrol," 2 July 2018 What happened with Winston in March 2016 in that Uber in Scottsdale, Ariz. would hardly be classified as out of nowhere, considering his résumé at Florida State. Albert Breer,, "How a Soldier’s Story Helped Dan Quinn Build the Falcons," 2 July 2018 Of the 25 conditions in question, ten are conventionally classified as psychiatric. The Economist, "A big collaboration is trying to understand diseases of the psyche," 28 June 2018

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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Statistics for classify

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for classify

The first known use of classify was in 1776

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More Definitions for classify



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 \
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 \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on classify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for classify

Spanish Central: Translation of classify

Nglish: Translation of classify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of classify for Arabic Speakers

Comments on classify

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


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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