\ 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 Shielded by the darkly dramatic clouds, Washington experienced what appeared to be temperatures of the temperate sort. Washington Post, 14 June 2021 The official characterized the request as the sort the agency typically makes around busy travel periods, such as Memorial Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. CNN, 10 June 2021 There’s what appears to be a guitar Back Bling on the left, a pair of glasses in the center and another futuristic weapon of some sort on the right. Erik Kain, Forbes, 6 June 2021 Full operations of the sort Deuce Drones wants to offer will require FAA Part 135 certification, which among other things allows drones to fly beyond visual range of the observer. al, 1 June 2021 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Downsizing from the family home or moving into an assisted living situation is also an opportunity to sort through precious belongings, say Emily Belfer, an estate-planning attorney at Day Pitney LLP. Kaitlin Menza, House Beautiful, 27 May 2021 The other members' solo plans were quickly announced, but Jay B took his time to sort through his options. Devon Abelman, Allure, 26 May 2021 Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor will have to sort through a variety of options and ball security will be his first concern. Brad Biggs,, 22 May 2021 Arabic club members met every day over spring break at the warehouse to sort through everything, check expiration dates on medicine and food and package items. Rick Menning,, 20 May 2021 That enabled her and her staff to sort through a vast database of digitized Canadian publications, parliamentary debates and books that had been collected as a linguistics project by a Canadian university. New York Times, 16 May 2021 The burden remains on the consumer to sort through the information around clean skin care and read between the lines of the language used to promote it. Fiorella Valdesolo, WSJ, 12 May 2021 Luke Weaver will remain in the rotation, manager Torey Lovullo said, a move that gives the inconsistent right-hander at least another start to sort through his issues. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, 7 May 2021 All received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and four of the the five clinics temporarily shut down as officials tried to sort out what was happening., 30 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

16 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sort.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 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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