sort

noun
\ ˈsȯrt How to pronounce sort (audio) \

Definition of sort

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a group set up on the basis of any characteristic in common : class, kind
b : one approximating the character or qualities of another a sort of latter-day Abe Lincoln
c : person, individual he's not a bad sort
2 archaic : group, company
3a archaic : method or manner of acting : way, manner
b : character, nature people of an evil sort
4a : a letter or character that is one element of a font
b : a character or piece of type that is not part of a regular font
5 : an instance of sorting a numeric sort of a data file
after a sort
: in a rough or haphazard way plays the piano, after a sort
all sorts of
: many different : all kinds of knows all sorts of people
of sorts or of a sort
: in some respects but not entirely or truly a vacation of sorts
out of sorts
1 : somewhat ill

sort

verb
sorted; sorting; sorts

Definition of sort (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to put in a certain place or rank according to kind, class, or nature sort apples sort mail
b : to arrange according to characteristics : classify usually used with out sort out colors
2 chiefly Scotland : to put to rights : put in order
3a : to examine in order to clarify used with out sorting out his problems
b : to free of confusion : clarify used with out waited until things sorted themselves out

intransitive verb

1 : to join or associate with others especially of the same kind sort with thieves
2 : agree, harmonize his benign view sorts badly with reality— Henry Trewhitt
3 : search sort through some old papers

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from sort

Verb

sortable \ ˈsȯr-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce sortable (audio) \ adjective
sorter noun

Choose the Right Synonym for sort

Noun

type, kind, sort, nature, description, character mean a number of individuals thought of as a group because of a common quality or qualities. type may suggest strong and clearly marked similarity throughout the items included so that each is typical of the group. one of three basic body types kind may suggest natural grouping. a zoo seemingly having animals of every kind sort often suggests some disparagement. the sort of newspaper dealing in sensational stories nature may imply inherent, essential resemblance rather than obvious or superficial likenesses. two problems of a similar nature description implies a group marked by agreement in all details belonging to a type as described or defined. not all acts of that description are actually illegal character implies a group marked by distinctive likenesses peculiar to the type. research on the subject so far has been of an elementary character

Examples of sort in a Sentence

Noun

What sort of car do you drive? He's not a bad sort. She's not the sort to complain. The program did a numeric sort of the data.

Verb

She started to sort the mail. They sorted the winners from the losers. The program can sort data alphabetically or numerically.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Kipman announced an Azure-powered service called Remote Rendering, which will serve as a sort of external GPU of sorts for the HoloLens 2. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft launches HoloLens 2 with a strong business bent," 24 Feb. 2019 The entry foyer of sorts overlooks even more boards, and a pile of insulation reaches the ceiling, enveloping a washer-dryer. Steve Heisler, Chicago Reader, "The blog Two Flat: Remade chronicles one family’s ten-year struggle to rehab a maggot-infested fixer-upper in Logan Square," 15 May 2018 Through the fronds, guests glimpse the living room, where the Menils ignored Johnson’s wishes and hired fashion designer Charles James to provide the furniture—plumage of a different sort. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "A museum grows in Houston," 1 Nov. 2018 While New York is traditionally a mecca of sorts for basketball, the city has not produced much NBA talent in recent years; Walker is arguably the most accomplished New York native currently playing in the league. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Why All-Star Kemba Walker’s New York ties should worry Charlotte Hornets," 13 July 2018 This is also a sort-of reference to the Bible, though more to an old, racist theological concept extrapolated by some Christians from the text, used to justify slavery and discrimination against dark-skinned people. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "What two fictional Gileads can teach us about America in 2018," 12 July 2018 Garibaldi, whose university is involved in developing the area, said the idea is to create an information hub of sorts for residents. Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's showcase neighborhood project falls a year behind schedule," 3 July 2018 There were also tears of a different sort from the Capitals' T.J. Oshie. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "Capitals' T.J. Oshie got emotional in interview about his father, who has Alzheimer's," 8 June 2018 This week, Cruz and his family mark an important step on a journey of a different sort. Jesse Garza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "After surviving Hurricane Maria, families left Puerto Rico and found homes in Milwaukee," 7 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There was enormous responsibility about getting the script right and getting everything in place, sorting out all the pieces. Joanne Kaufman, WSJ, "Actress Ruth Wilson Dramatizes Her Family’s Shocking Secret," 22 Feb. 2019 So, Jordyn is now moving back into her mother's house while everything gets sorted out. Tamara Fuentes And Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Who is Jordyn Woods? Everything You Need to Know About Kylie's Ex-BFF," 22 Feb. 2019 At the end of the drives, logs are stored in millponds until they can be sorted according to species and mill schedule. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Lost Art of Floating Logs Down the River," 16 Feb. 2019 In fact, sorting recyclables into anything more than one or two separate streams causes the recycling rate to plunge. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Bikes, bowling balls, and the delicate balancing act that is modern recycling," 31 Dec. 2018 What’s striking, however, is that essentially no progress has been made on sorting out the details. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The $21 trillion Pentagon accounting error that can’t pay for Medicare-for-all, explained," 3 Dec. 2018 Guests come here for a legit immersive experience by moving and sorting cattle, welding, even branding calves. Candice Rainey, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Colorado Ranch Retreat That Gives You a Real Taste of Cowboy Life," 20 July 2018 Luckily, the singer is a bit of a pro at shaking it off (sorry), and played it very cool while the situation was sorted out. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Taylor Swift Had the Best Reaction to Her Onstage Set Malfunction," 15 July 2018 Postmaster General Megan Brennan says the agency has added leased space, opened a new package-processing system and two sorting systems to handle large items. Paul Ziobro, WSJ, "UPS’s Christmas Wish: A Delivery Surge It Can Handle," 26 Nov. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of sort

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for sort

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, fate, lot, characteristic, from Latin sort-, sors lot, share, category — more at series

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sort

Dictionary Entries near sort

sorrowless

sorry

sorry about that

sort

sorta

sortation

sortie

Statistics for sort

Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sort

The first known use of sort was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sort

sort

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sort

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a group of people or things that have some shared quality : a particular kind or type of person or thing
: a person of a particular type
technical : the act of separating things and putting them in a particular order : the act of sorting things

sort

verb

English Language Learners Definition of sort (Entry 2 of 2)

: to separate and put (people or things) in a particular order
British, informal : to deal with (something or someone) in a successful way

sort

noun
\ ˈsȯrt How to pronounce sort (audio) \

Kids Definition of sort

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a group of persons or things that have something in common : kind all sorts of people
2 : person sense 1, individual He was not a bad sort.
3 : general disposition : nature people of an evil sort
out of sorts
1 : not feeling well
2 : easily angered : irritable

sort

verb
sorted; sorting

Kids Definition of sort (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to separate and arrange according to kind or class Sort the beads by color.
2 : search entry 1 sense 1 He sorted through a stack of papers.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on sort

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sort

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sort

Spanish Central: Translation of sort

Nglish: Translation of sort for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sort for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sort

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a shady place in a garden or forest

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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