sort out

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phrasal verb

sorted out; sorting out; sorts out
: to understand or find (something, such as a reason or a solution) by thinking
I'm trying to sort out a way to do it.
: to find an answer or solution for (something)
He's still trying to sort out his problems.
We need to get these problems sorted out as soon as possible.
They couldn't come up with a solution and decided to wait to see whether problem sorted itself out.
: to solve the problems of (someone)
They're still trying to sort their son out.
I just need a little more time to sort myself out.
British, informal : to deal in a forceful way with (someone who is causing problems)
I told my brother they were bullying me, and he promised to sort them out (for me).


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: an activity in which someone makes a room, closet, etc., neat and organized
Let's have a sort-out of the attic.

Examples of sort out in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Phrasal verb
Los Angeles police are trying to sort out the mystery of a Tarzana man, three missing family members and body parts found in a dumpster. Los Angeles Times, 18 Nov. 2023 There are also difficult legal and financial issues to sort out. Ivan Penn, New York Times, 7 Nov. 2023 Moses said a subsequent hearing is needed to sort out the competing legal claims raised by the dispute, including instances in which private landowners have asked Texas officials to protect their property with the barriers. Nick Miroff, Washington Post, 30 Oct. 2023 Everything the documentary needs is packed within its three parts, including an inherent trust in the viewer to sift through and sort out conflicting viewpoints. Chris Vognar, Rolling Stone, 26 Sep. 2023 There is also a long list of unresolved items that have received less public attention, but which may take considerable time to sort out. Gene Maddaus, Variety, 26 Oct. 2023 Jordan's pursuit of the speakership would have to exhaust itself, and other political calculations would need to be sorted out before Republicans determine next steps. Major Garrett, CBS News, 19 Oct. 2023 The administration is still sorting out the legal implications of the absence of a House speaker, an unprecedented situation that may be a barrier to congressional authorization for aid, one official said. Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, 9 Oct. 2023 Following a weeklong detainment in an ICE detention center, 21 Savage was released and allowed to remain in America while his immigration was sorted out. Charisma Madarang, Rolling Stone, 8 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Dictionary Entries Near sort out

Cite this Entry

“Sort out.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

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