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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And both sorts are revealing—as is the way with baseball—of broader national traits. The Economist, "Baseball and exceptionalism," 8 June 2019 The prime real estate in question serves as a buffer zone of sorts between the Preston Center shopping complex to the south and Preston Hollow single-family homes. David Tarrant, Dallas News, "Dallas plan commission supports controversial North Dallas rezoning plan," 6 June 2019 Join the 100s of volunteers helping to pack bags, count and sort items and run food drives. Dominik Dumancic/share, Cincinnati.com, "GO Pantry summer food drive helps children in Northern Kentucky," 6 June 2019 There is also pleasure, often of an ironic sort, in calling someone by a name that connotes indelible connection. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, "Please, My Wife, She’s Very Online," 5 June 2019 Still, mostly thanks to the 2016 presidential election, the media has undergone a reckoning of sorts around the toxic and often sexist rhetoric used to describe women. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Criticizing a Bad Red Carpet Outfit Is Not Sexist—or Personal," 25 Apr. 2019 The case, along with a raft of other lawsuits against Gawker, was financed by billionaire Peter Thiel, with Harder representing all comers—a class action of sorts by the irritated and/or embarrassed. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "How Much Does It Cost to Keep Your Name Out of the News?," 18 Jan. 2019 In such cases, a piece of dance, like a ballet, having characters and a story or narrative of some sort goes a long way. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Fortnite keeps stealing dances — and no one knows if it’s illegal," 20 Dec. 2018 The country has been in a competition of sorts to be the fourth nation in history to land a spacecraft on the moon. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "India Will Attempt to Land on the Moon in September," 9 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Deontay Wilder wants to fight them all and let God sort the mess. Greg Moore, azcentral, "Andy Ruiz says he's the boss in Anthony Joshua rematch negotiation: 'I call the shots now'," 6 June 2019 Courant content manager Russell Blair sorts through piles of legislation in the 2019 session’s waning hours, where much is still up for grabs. Michael Hamad, courant.com, "Capitol Watch Podcast: Connecticut’s 2019 legislative session: What passed, what died and what’s still left," 4 June 2019 Annie Noonan of San Francisco, who's with Rey's group, helped unload and unpack supplies at the Catholic center on Sunday, sorting clothes by size. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, "Volunteers flock to help immigrant children: 'There is love out there'," 25 June 2018 One of the big unknowns for U.S. economic growth heading into the presidential election year needs to be sorted out by lawmakers in the coming months: the path for government spending. Kate Davidson, WSJ, "Spending Battle Clouds Outlook for U.S. Growth," 7 Apr. 2019 Children were often sorted by country, gender and age, to keep older and younger ones apart. Author: Maria Sacchetti, Kevin Sieff, Marc Fisher, Anchorage Daily News, "Separated migrant children are all over the country," 25 June 2018 The start of the game was delayed several minutes as officials sorted out a lineup discrepancy. Stephen Whyno, The Seattle Times, "Holtby sharp as Capitals beat Flyers to end losing streak," 24 Mar. 2019 The name of the game was to build political support for an idea that currently had little support and sort the details out later. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The $21 trillion Pentagon accounting error that can’t pay for Medicare-for-all, explained," 3 Dec. 2018 Liverpool appear set to make an audacious bid of €65m for AS Roma's Alisson as Jurgen Klopp looks to sort his goalkeeping situation once and for all. SI.com, "Liverpool Attempt to Beat Rivals to Brazilian International's Signing With €65m Offer," 12 July 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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near sort

sorrowless

sorry

sorry about that

sort

sorta

sortation

sortie

Statistics for sort

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sort

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

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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.

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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

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