1

sort

noun \ ˈsȯrt \
Updated on: 9 Dec 2017

Definition of sort

1 a : 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
3 a archaic : method or manner of acting : way, manner
b : character, nature
  • people of an evil sort
4 a : 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

Examples of sort in a Sentence

  1. What sort of car do you drive?

  2. He's not a bad sort.

  3. She's not the sort to complain.

  4. The program did a numeric sort of the data.

Recent Examples of sort from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of sort

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

Synonym Discussion of sort

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

2

sort

verb

Definition of sort

transitive verb
1 a : 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
3 a : 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

sortable

play \ˈsȯr-tə-bəl\ adjective

sorter

noun

Examples of sort in a Sentence

  1. She started to sort the mail.

  2. They sorted the winners from the losers.

  3. The program can sort data alphabetically or numerically.

Recent Examples of sort from the Web

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.

First Known Use of sort

14th century



SORT Defined for English Language Learners

sort

noun

Definition of sort for English Language Learners

  • : 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

  • : the act of separating things and putting them in a particular order : the act of sorting things


sort

verb

Definition of sort for English Language Learners

  • : to separate and put (people or things) in a particular order

  • : to deal with (something or someone) in a successful way


SORT Defined for Kids

1

sort

noun \ ˈsȯrt \

Definition of sort for Students

1 : a group of persons or things that have something in common : kind
  • all sorts of people
2 : person 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

2

sort

verb

Definition of sort for Students

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


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