sort

1 of 2

noun

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

sort

2 of 2

verb

sorted; sorting; sorts

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 realityHenry Trewhitt
3
: search
sort through some old papers
sortable adjective
sorter noun
Phrases
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
2
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Popular on Variety Riley grows increasingly out of sorts as headquarters gets crowded with new emotions including Anxiety (Maya Hawke), Envy (Ayo Edebiri), Ennui (Adèle Exarchopoulos), Embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser) and Nostalgia (June Squibb). Carolyn Giardina, Variety, 11 Apr. 2024 That goes two ways, but the fact that so many stans perceive celebrities like Taylor Swift as surrogate mothers of sorts is setting everybody up for psychological failure because the mode of communication is one-sided. Angela Chen, Los Angeles Times, 11 Apr. 2024 Kingfield In the winter months, Kingfield comes alive as a ski town of sorts, situated next door to the famed Sugarloaf Mountain. Erinne Magee, Travel + Leisure, 11 Apr. 2024 Every April 10 for several years now, many social media feeds are transformed into a virtual family album of sorts, as friends and acquaintances post photos to mark National Siblings Day. Maria Godoy, NPR, 10 Apr. 2024 The unusual meeting point was a compromise of sorts, halfway between Tel Aviv, where Rappaport lived, and Raanan’s homebase in Mikhmoret, a coastal town 26 miles to the north. Byallie Garfinkle, Fortune, 10 Apr. 2024 The opinion does not establish a rule that other US judges are duty bound to follow, but in combination with the verdict in favor of the SEC, sets a precedent of sorts for a crypto organization having violated US securities laws. Joel Khalili, WIRED, 5 Apr. 2024 Furthermore, key Bayern players like Harry Kane and Jamal Musiala seemed out of sorts, and on top of that, Sven Ulreich struggled to replace regular no.1 Manuel Neuer. Manuel Veth, Forbes, 30 Mar. 2024 Acknowledging a kinship of sorts, motorcyclists gave frequent thumbs-up to the Morgan, claiming the three-wheeler as one of their own. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 29 Mar. 2024
Verb
Quick Read Deep Read ( 6 Min. ) April 10, 2024 Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal Among the warehouses of one of Portugal’s oldest ports, conversations are flowing among the men sorting their fishing nets. Dominique Soguel, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 Apr. 2024 To the contrary, the regional order appears to be sorting itself out without the United States, and the administration has not been able to prevent the deaths of more than 30,000 Palestinians and the physical devastation of Gaza. Steven Simon, Foreign Affairs, 9 Apr. 2024 In the past, that material had to be hauled to Western Recycling then baled and taken by truck to Portland or Seattle to be sorted. Cynthia Sewell, Idaho Statesman, 8 Apr. 2024 Sometimes you might be permitted into the backroom or sorting area. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2024 So the reading glasses weren't for reading as much as for other daily tasks, like threading a needle, quickly figuring out change at a cash register or weeding and sorting grain on a family farm. Gabrielle Emanuel, NPR, 3 Apr. 2024 That’s your big-ticket purchase for 2027 sorted, then. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 3 Apr. 2024 Other volunteering opportunities on the island that more directly aid fire recovery include delivering meals for Hungry Heroes Hawai’i, an organization born of the pandemic, and sorting donations for the Maui Humane Society, which has taken in more than 800 animals since the Lahaina blaze. Leilani Marie Labong, Travel + Leisure, 30 Mar. 2024 Veteran Mercedes owners might hop in and take all this touchscreen tech for granted, but owners new to the brand will want to invest an hour or two finger-poking icons and sorting default settings. Mark Ewing, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sort.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near sort

Cite this Entry

“Sort.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sort. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

sort

1 of 2 noun
1
a
: a group of persons or things that have something in common : class
b
: person sense 1, individual
not a bad sort
2
a
archaic : method or manner of acting : way, manner
b
: general disposition : nature
people of an evil sort

sort

2 of 2 verb
1
: to separate and arrange by kind or class : classify
sort mail
sort out socks by color
2
: agree sense 6, suit
our views sort poorly with theirs
3
: search
sort through some old papers
sorter noun

More from Merriam-Webster on sort

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