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

Of those storms, there will be two to four major hurricanes, which are classified as Category 3, 4, and 5 with winds of 111 mph or higher. Fox News, "Tropical Storm Humberto forecast to become hurricane, bring dangerous rip currents as it may impact Bermuda," 15 Sep. 2019 The rustic retreat boasts 28 acres, 27 of which are classified as agricultural exempt improved pasture land, according to Milliorn. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Nearly half a million slashed from price on swanky rustic Dayton ranch," 3 Sep. 2019 Eboigbe, who was classified as day-to-day last week, was walking off with an athletic trainer as the media entered practice. Matt Zenitz |, al, "Alabama practice report: 2 linemen not practicing," 2 Sep. 2019 Threats Both sub-species of manta ray are classified as vulnerable by the IUCN. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 26 Aug. 2019 App delivery workers are largely classified as independent contractors, so for the most part, gig workers aren’t promised these protections. Shirin Ghaffary, Vox, "Where your delivery app tips really go, explained," 24 July 2019 Digging deeper into it, Sheeran has ears for some songs that could just about be classified as roots music — no surprise, considering he's known for his acoustic guitar playing. Courtney E. Smith,, "Ed Sheeran Picked Out Your Perfect Fourth Of July Travel Playlist," 5 July 2019 Cannon was hurt in the season-opening win against the Steelers but practiced all week on a limited basis and was classified as questionable on Friday., "Patriots offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn will have an MRI after injuring his toe," 17 Sep. 2019 But being classified as an employee could hurt some freelancers, particularly in the realm of intellectual property, Kristof said. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "California's gig worker law will mostly affect non-gig workers," 13 Sep. 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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Statistics for classify

Last Updated

10 Oct 2019

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 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

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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

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