clas·​si·​fy | \ ˈkla-sə-ˌfī How to pronounce classify (audio) \
classified; classifying

Definition of classify

transitive verb

1 : to arrange in classes (see class entry 1 sense 3) classifying books according to subject matter
2 : to consider (someone or something) as belonging to a particular group The movie is classified as a comedy. The vehicle is classified as a truck.

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Other Words from classify

classifiable \ ˌkla-​sə-​ˈfī-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce classify (audio) \ adjective

Examples of classify in a Sentence

Students will be learning about the ways scientists classify animals. The online system can classify books by subject.
Recent Examples on the Web Part of what makes stealthing a complex issue is the question of how to classify it. Sara Stewart, CNN, 15 Oct. 2021 California health officials did not initially classify theme parks as mega events but later added them. Los Angeles Times, 30 Sep. 2021 Only five people have been convicted of drug trafficking in Haiti, and the government did not classify corruption as a crime until 2014, the report added. New York Times, 21 Aug. 2021 The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both don't classify the variant as a variant of concern, a classification given to both alpha and delta. Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY, 5 Aug. 2021 The government figures on e-commerce sales may not classify correctly everything that is bought and delivered through online channels. Calvin Schnure, Forbes, 18 Mar. 2021 Pfizer is not asking the FDA to revise the license for Comirnaty, its Covid vaccine, to classify it as a three-dose vaccine. Helen Branswell, STAT, 5 Sep. 2021 Hector Castellanos, a full-time Uber and Lyft driver in the Bay Area, said he was hit by another driver one day and couldn't file for workers' compensation because of the way the gig companies classify him. CBS News, 23 Aug. 2021 And yet, Eyjafjallajökull’s meltdown was moderate, as volcanologists classify it. Matt Simon, Wired, 6 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'classify.' 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 classify

1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for classify

see class entry 1

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Time Traveler for classify

Time Traveler

The first known use of classify was in 1776

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Dictionary Entries Near classify



class interval

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Statistics for classify

Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Classify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for classify



English Language Learners Definition of classify

: to arrange (people or things) into groups based on ways that they are alike
: to consider (someone or something) as belonging to a particular group


clas·​si·​fy | \ ˈkla-sə-ˌfī How to pronounce classify (audio) \
classified; classifying

Kids Definition of classify

: to arrange in groups based on similarities Our librarians classify books by subject.


transitive verb
clas·​si·​fy | \ ˈklas-ə-ˌfī How to pronounce classify (audio) \
classified; classifying

Medical Definition of classify

: to arrange in classes that have systematic relations usually founded on common properties how would you classify these animals

More from Merriam-Webster on classify

Nglish: Translation of classify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of classify for Arabic Speakers


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