\ 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


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


sortable \ ˈsȯr-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce sort (audio) \ adjective
sorter noun

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun All other New England states, according to DISCUS, are considering an extension of some sort., 2 June 2021 Headaches of that sort with the council are fairly routine. Gregory Barber, Wired, 1 June 2021 The Fold 3 will also feature better build quality than its predecessors, including sturdier glass and even a dust and water resistance rating of some sort. Chris Smith, BGR, 1 June 2021 Pre-pandemic, a large walk-up event of that sort might have drawn 500 takers, Flood told me. Los Angeles Times, 29 May 2021 Rumors emerged that some co-workers had complained about Cassidy to supervisors, that a hearing of some sort had been scheduled for that very day. Julie Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, 29 May 2021 The story starts with a theft—albeit of the innocent sort: a daughter poking through her mother’s jewelry box, discovering a cameo on a chain, tucking it away in a bag that would soon be carried off to college. Chloe Schama, Vogue, 20 May 2021 Great movie of the sort that hasn’t been made since about 1950. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 19 May 2021 Behind the scenes, though, some of that change — the incremental, structural sort — may be starting to happen. New York Times, 19 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Conservancy will then sort through the ideas and present plans to the Harris County Commissioners Court in mid-July, KHOU's Shern-Min Chow reports. Abigail Rosenthal, Chron, 19 May 2021 The bot named Zoe helped filter and sort client requests so that human customer engagement representatives could provide the best help possible. Shama Hyder, Forbes, 17 May 2021 Once legislators sort through how much money will go where, TEA will issue guidance and other supports in ensuing months, Ward said. Corbett Smith, Dallas News, 17 May 2021 To search for the rare radioactive elements in the samples, the researchers used mass spectrometers, which sort the atoms in a sample based on their mass. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, 13 May 2021 That’s a lot of information for one immobilized woman to sort out in 90 minutes, especially with the ticking clock of her air running out because the unit sustained some sort of damage. Alison Willmore, Vulture, 12 May 2021 There's plenty to sort over the next 12 months, though, particularly given how the COVID-19 pandemic altered the scouting process throughout the country last season. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, 2 May 2021 The sheer variety in this Asian American wonderland can be overwhelming to sort through, so here are some reliable picks that have long been my favorites to get your grocery trip started. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 19 Apr. 2021 The metrics used to sort the counties, however, have changed over the past month as more Californians living in areas hard-hit by the coronavirus have been inoculated. Luke Money, Los Angeles Times, 13 Apr. 2021

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


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


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

History and Etymology for sort


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

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Time Traveler for sort

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for sort

Last Updated

4 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sort.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for sort



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



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


\ 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


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on sort

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sort

Nglish: Translation of sort for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sort for Arabic Speakers


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