\ 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 The episode closes out with the four present-day youths in a white-walled Matrix space station of some sort, hooked up to glow sticks and awaiting their fates. Kelly Mcclure, Vulture, 7 Oct. 2021 Despite the lack of hard evidence, many experts suggested that a weapon of some sort was causing the symptoms. Robert Baloh, The Conversation, 30 Sep. 2021 Every multiplayer game has a networking protocol of some sort. Gene Park, Washington Post, 28 Sep. 2021 The watch case on Drake’s version is encrusted with diamonds, while the dial’s hour markers are also gems of some sort. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 20 Sep. 2021 Most of the rescues involve leg injuries of some sort. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 15 July 2021 Barbara and Robert Sommer experienced nothing of that sort after the game’s original release. Sebastian Skov Andersen, Wired, 23 Sep. 2021 Rather, all that a ban of this sort will do is force payments underground, reduce the level of support available for organizations, and do absolutely nothing to deter cybercriminal activity. Sean Stein Smith, Forbes, 20 Sep. 2021 Business bigamy of this sort, to judge from recent news reports, may not be so very uncommon. Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York Times, 8 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Everyone can surely agree that this is a complicated problem, with lots of layers and challenges to sort through. Andy Meek, BGR, 6 Oct. 2021 The double review and ensuing explanation took about ten minutes for the officials to sort through. Dallas News, 3 Oct. 2021 The existence of emergency rooms stems from the notion that most people don't have the ability to sort out what is serious and what is not. Star Tribune, 14 June 2021 The positions may require the ability to sort, load and unload materials. Randy Tucker, The Enquirer, 24 May 2021 There’s time to sort out the problems on the offensive line and get Uiagalelei more comfortable with his receivers. Erick Smith, USA TODAY, 7 Sep. 2021 State, county, and municipal governments have some time to sort out the rules and their options. Mike Cason |, al, 21 July 2021 The decision comes as a surprise only in the sense that the club did not give Smith more time to sort through his issues. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, 8 Apr. 2021 Struggling renters just got more time to sort out their finances., 29 Mar. 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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Dictionary Entries Near sort




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Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sort.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 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
: 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
: 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

Nglish: Translation of sort for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sort for Arabic Speakers


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