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

Plenty of new housing developments these days choose an unoffensive gray of sorts for their whole exterior, but not this one. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "These new homes stand out with colorful louvers," 30 Nov. 2018 These are systems which are extremely isolated from any outside environment and create a testing grounds of sorts for the basic fundamentals of physics. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Get Nanoparticles Spinning a Billion Times Per Second," 19 July 2018 The Natural Hazards Center is a repository of sorts for research and best practices in the realm of emergencies and disaster. Jason Pohl, azcentral, "Fires, floods, hurricanes: Disaster experts weigh ‘new normal’," 14 July 2018 The Marvel Comics legend co-founded POW! in 2001 as a holding company of sorts for his library of intellectual property. Anita Bennett, Fortune, "Stan Lee Drops $1 Billion Fraud Lawsuit Against POW! Entertainment," 9 July 2018 This represents a homecoming of sorts for Katsumura, who was part of Grace’s opening team, and worked there for about a year. Phil Vettel, chicagotribune.com, "New restaurant headed to the Grace space, with Mari Katsumura as chef," 2 July 2018 Next season will serve as a farewell tour of sorts for Martin, who became the NCAA all-time leader in career wins in 2018. Safid Deen, OrlandoSentinel.com, "FSU baseball coach Mike Martin will return for 40th year, retire after 2019 season," 18 June 2018 Friday night classified as a breakthrough of sorts for Brent Suter. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brent Suter does it all for the Brewers in blowout victory," 16 June 2018 In some ways, allowing Saudi women for the first time to watch a soccer game back in January and their presence here Thursday is a triumph of sorts for the sport as something that brings people together. Washington Post, "Saudi women in Russia to support team, reinforce new image," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The great political challenge of our time is sorting out what matters from what’s just chatter. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Story of the Year," 6 Mar. 2019 And if shoppers come away hungry, Rose Bakery will sort them out. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Simone Rocha and Laila Gohar Create a Fantasy Banquet Inside Dover Street Market," 8 Feb. 2019 The civil rights movement sorted black voters into the Democratic Party and pushed racially conservative white Southerners to defect to the GOP. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The 9 thinkers who made sense of 2018’s chaos," 27 Dec. 2018 There’s also a great sorting out in where older Americans are living. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Senior housing: Older Americans face affordability, accessibility challenges," 14 Nov. 2018 Getty ImagesWPA Pool Thought your vacation plans were sorted? Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Wedding Dress and Tiara Will Be Starring In a New IRL Exhibition," 29 Aug. 2018 The public schools have self-sorted: Anglo and Asian children in one group, African-Americans and Hispanics in the other. The Economist, "Demography is not destinyBuilding a multiracial coalition is more difficult than it seems," 12 July 2018 Each winning beer below is sorted by category, followed by the brewery, beer name and medal. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "Urban Roots, Crooked Lane win gold at the U.S. Open Beer Championship," 10 July 2018 The occupiers sort their trash, recycling, and compost and deposit it in nearby city receptacles. Philly.com, "ICE protestors outside City Hall battle heat, loss of electricity," 9 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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Learn More about sort

Dictionary Entries near sort

sorrowless

sorry

sorry about that

sort

sorta

sortation

sortie

Statistics for sort

Last Updated

15 Apr 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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