Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. divination, or the seeking of guidance, by chance selection of a passage in the Bible or another text regarded as authoritative.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. pl. of sors.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Lots used in a kind of divination, consisting in the chance selection of a passage from an author's writings—a practice common in ancient times and in the middle ages.

Etymologies

From Latin plural of sors ("lot, fate, oracular response") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Here remain still the ruins of the Temple of Fortune, famous for its oracles, called sortes prœnestinœ.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 8: Infamy-Lapparent

  • So, rather than disappoint them, I resorted to a kind of sortes Virgillana; I shut my eyes, turned round thrice, and made a mark at hazard on the line of photographs.

    Hawthorne and His Circle

  • a book, an old fancy seized me to try the 'sortes' and dip into the first page of the first I chanced upon, for my fortune; I said 'what will be the event of my love for Her' -- in so many words -- and my book turned out to be -- 'Cerutti's Italian Grammar!'

    The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846

  • However that may be, yesterday morning as I turned to look for a book, an old fancy seized me to try the 'sortes' and dip into the first page of the first I chanced upon, for my fortune; I said 'what will be the event of my love for Her' ” in so many words ” and my book turned out to be ” 'Cerutti's Italian Grammar!' ” a propitious source of information

    The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett

  • C'est vraiment un beau pays, très hospitalier, où vous serez tentée de faire beaucoup d'achats!!! poteries, vêtements et objets de cuir, cuivres, tapis, souvenirs de toutes sortes, etc., etc ...

    contretemps - French Word-A-Day

  • He doesn't want to investigate the previous administration's torture record, much less its apparent formulation of foreign policy by means of the sortes biblicae.

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • I was hardly the first person to have recourse to the sortes Virgilianae in time of confusion or trouble.

    Sick Cycle Carousel

  • La montée des hiérarchies de statuts combinée avec la sexualité bourgeonnante met sans dessus dessous toutes sortes de relations.

    apophenia » Blog Archive » Sociality Is Learning

  • La Chapelle, Le Cuisinier moderne, qui apprend à donner toutes sortes de repas…Avec…des desseins de table…en taille-douce, 2nd ed., The Hague, 1742.

    Delizia!

  • Granlux était un personnage dégingandé qui essayait de livrer toutes sortes d'objets avec son triporteur.

    triporteur (Italy, part 3) - French Word-A-Day

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.

  • Then pedicabs (I think Wordnik is just playing with me now).

    July 31, 2014

  • Then rustlings.

    July 31, 2014

  • Then locution.

    July 31, 2014

  • Ooooh. It gave me interdicts.

    July 31, 2014

  • I'll check the next "random word" for the answer to that question. Hold on...

    July 31, 2014

  • Sortes is a good one! Do you suppose that someone who doesn't have a clue is "out of sortes?"

    July 31, 2014

  • Ah, Wordnik. I just got this as a "random word."

    July 31, 2014