Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A group of persons or things of the same general character; a kind.
  • n. Character or nature: books of all sorts.
  • n. One that exemplifies the characteristics of or serves a similar function to another: "A large dinner-party ... made a sort of general introduction for her to the society of the neighbourhood” ( George Eliot).
  • n. A person; an individual: The clerk is a decent sort.
  • n. A way of acting or behaving.
  • n. Printing One of the characters in a font of type.
  • n. An act or instance of sorting: did a sort on the columns of data.
  • transitive v. To arrange according to class, kind, or size; classify. See Synonyms at arrange.
  • transitive v. To separate from others: sort out the wheat from the chaff.
  • transitive v. To clarify by going over mentally: She tried to sort out her problems.
  • idiom after a sort In a haphazard or imperfect way: managed to paint the chair after a sort.
  • idiom sorts Of a mediocre or inferior kind: a constitutional government of a sort.
  • idiom sorts Of one kind or another: knew many folktales of sorts.
  • idiom out of sorts Slightly ill.
  • idiom out of sorts Irritable; cross: The teacher is out of sorts this morning.
  • idiom sort of Informal Somewhat; rather: "Gambling and prostitution . . . have been prohibited, but only sort of” ( George F. Will).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A general type.
  • n. group, company.
  • n. A person.
  • n. An act of sorting.
  • n. An algorithm for sorting a list of items into a particular order.
  • n. A piece of metal type used to print one letter, character, or symbol in a particular size and style.
  • v. To separate according to certain criteria.
  • v. To arrange into some order, especially numerically, alphabetically or chronologically.
  • v. To fix a problem, to handle a task; to sort out.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Chance; lot; destiny.
  • n. A kind or species; any number or collection of individual persons or things characterized by the same or like qualities; a class or order
  • n. Manner; form of being or acting.
  • n. Condition above the vulgar; rank.
  • n. A chance group; a company of persons who happen to be together; a troop; also, an assemblage of animals.
  • n. A pair; a set; a suit.
  • n. Letters, figures, points, marks, spaces, or quadrats, belonging to a case, separately considered.
  • intransitive v. To join or associate with others, esp. with others of the same kind or species; to agree.
  • intransitive v. To suit; to fit; to be in accord; to harmonize.
  • transitive v. To separate, and place in distinct classes or divisions, as things having different qualities
  • transitive v. To reduce to order from a confused state.
  • transitive v. To conjoin; to put together in distribution; to class.
  • transitive v. To choose from a number; to select; to cull.
  • transitive v. To conform; to adapt; to accommodate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To give or appoint by lot; hence, in general, to allot; assign.
  • To ordain; decree.
  • To select; choose; pick out.
  • To set apart; assign to a particular place or station; rank; class.
  • To separate into sorts; arrange according to kind; classify: sometimes with over.
  • To conform; accommodate; adapt; suit.
  • To put in the proper state or order; set right; adjust; dispose.
  • To supply in suitable sorts; assort.
  • To procure; obtain; attain; reach.
  • To punish; chastise.
  • To cast lots; decide or divine anything by lot; hence, in general, to practise divination or soothsaying.
  • To come to pass; chance; happen; turn out; specifically, to have a satisfactory issue; succeed.
  • To tend; lead; conduce.
  • To be of the same sort or class (with another); be like or comparable; consort; associate; agree; harmonize: with with, rarely to.
  • To be suitable or favorable.
  • n. A lot; that which is awarded or determined by lot; hence, in general, one's fate, fortune, or destiny.
  • n. Allotted station or position; condition; rank; specifically, high rank; social eminence.
  • n. Characteristic mode of being; nature; quality; character.
  • n. A number of persons, things, ideas, etc., grouped together according to the possession of common attributes; a kind, as determined by nature, quality, character, or habits; a species; a class.
  • n. Specifically— A particular class or order of people.
  • n. In printing, one of the characters or pieces in a font of type, considered with reference to its relative supply or lack: nearly always in the plural: as, to be out of sorts (that is, to lack some of the necessary types in a case); to order sorts for a font (that is, to order more of the kinds of type of which it is deficient).
  • n. Kind: used indefinitely of something more or less resembling the thing specified: with of, like kind of. See kind, n., 5, and compare sort of below.
  • n. A number or quantity of things of the same kind or used together; a set; a suit.
  • n. A group; a flock; a troop; a company.
  • n. Particular mode of action or procedure; manner; fashion; way.
  • n. Out of health or spirits; out of the normal condition of body or mind; cross.
  • n. In printing, short of one or more characters in type: said of a compositor, or of his case.
  • n. [Sort, like kind, is often erroneously used in the singular form with a plural force and connection. Compare kind.
  • n. Synonyms Kind, Sort, Kind is by derivation a deeper or more serious word than sort; sort is often used slightingly, while kind is rarely so used.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. examine in order to test suitability
  • v. arrange or order by classes or categories
  • n. a person of a particular character or nature
  • n. a category of things distinguished by some common characteristic or quality
  • n. an approximate definition or example
  • n. an operation that segregates items into groups according to a specified criterion

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin sors, sort-, lot.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French sorte ("class, kind"), from Latin root of sors ("lot, fate, share, rank, category") (Wiktionary)
From Old French sortir ("allot, sort"), from Latin sortire ("draw lots, divide, choose"), from sors (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.