\ 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This is the sort of place where Fox News hosts are lambasted as liberal propagandists, face masks of any sort are strictly forbidden, and anyone found with one might be theatrically escorted off site. Sam Kestenbaum, Rolling Stone, 17 Sep. 2022 From the left, the outrage has been of the predictable sort. Alexandra Desanctis, National Review, 15 Sep. 2022 Laurie Anderson, avant-garde artist and Reed’s widow, had enlisted the music producer and technical assistant to help her sort through the belongings of her late husband, following his death in 2013. Ella Feldman, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 Sep. 2022 The car also has a traditional-looking parking brake operated by a lever, but it’s actually an electronic parking brake of the sort that’s usually operated by a small switch on most other vehicles. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, 14 Sep. 2022 Even though the Britannia was scheduled to pass by the city at 8:30 a.m. on July 7, 1959, thousands of people turned out for the royal sort-of visit. Chris Foran, Journal Sentinel, 9 Sep. 2022 There are worries that this could lead to more mistakes, the sort that can lead to accusations of fraud. Matthew Brown, Anchorage Daily News, 8 Sep. 2022 The problem isn’t mass panic of the sort featured in Hollywood movies—research has shown that such panic at moments of disaster is a myth. Ingfei Chen, The New Yorker, 6 Sep. 2022 Several of them have emerged alongside sandy camping beaches of the sort that river runners covet., 6 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Terrion Arnold entered the Texas game in the second half as the four-player grouping of Arnold, KoolAid McKinstry, Eli Ricks and Khyree Jackson continues to sort itself. Nick Alvarez |, al, 16 Sep. 2022 In the early months of the pandemic, the hump was idled in June 2020 because of declining volumes, and the yard reverted to flat-switching, or the use of locomotives, to sort railcars. Esther Fung, WSJ, 6 Sep. 2022 All of which complicates his legacy—which will take decades to sort through—even further. Casey Michel, The New Republic, 31 Aug. 2022 Use the different tiers to sort hair products from body ones. Mary Cornetta, Better Homes & Gardens, 30 Aug. 2022 Being able to sort the wheat from the chaff and respond efficiently largely comes with experience, though formal training or informal mentorship can help. Jim Richberg, Forbes, 25 Aug. 2022 Then Lock announced the students had to rearrange themselves into birth date order, then group by shirt colors and finally sort into artists, athletes and musicians before setting off into a rock-paper-scissors tournament. The Enquirer, 24 Aug. 2022 The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals granted Graham’s request to block the subpoena in a two-page decision, saying prosecutors must sort out whether the South Carolina senator is protected from answering certain questions. Phillip M. Bailey, USA TODAY, 22 Aug. 2022 Gore continued to mentally sort the shift of the franchises’ tectonic plates as the Nationals prepared to open a series against the Cubs. Bryce Millercolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sort.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for sort


\ 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

Nglish: Translation of sort for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sort for Arabic Speakers


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