from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A group of persons or things of the same general character; a kind.
  • noun Character or nature.
  • noun One that exemplifies the characteristics of or serves a similar function to another.
  • noun A person; an individual.
  • noun Computers An operation that arranges data in a specified way.
  • noun Archaic A way of acting or behaving.
  • intransitive verb To place or arrange according to class, kind, or size; classify: synonym: arrange.
  • intransitive verb To separate from others.
  • intransitive verb To make a search or examination of a collection of things.
  • intransitive verb To be or become arranged in a certain way.
  • idiom (after a sort) In a haphazard or imperfect way.
  • idiom (sorts/a sort) Of a mediocre or inferior kind.
  • idiom (sorts/a sort) Of one kind or another.
  • idiom (out of sorts) Slightly ill.
  • idiom (out of sorts) Irritable; cross.
  • idiom (sort of) Somewhat; rather.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A lot; that which is awarded or determined by lot; hence, in general, one's fate, fortune, or destiny.
  • noun Allotted station or position; condition; rank; specifically, high rank; social eminence.
  • noun Characteristic mode of being; nature; quality; character.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Specifically— A particular class or order of people.
  • noun 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).
  • noun 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.
  • noun A number or quantity of things of the same kind or used together; a set; a suit.
  • noun A group; a flock; a troop; a company.
  • noun Particular mode of action or procedure; manner; fashion; way.
  • noun Out of health or spirits; out of the normal condition of body or mind; cross.
  • noun In printing, short of one or more characters in type: said of a compositor, or of his case.
  • noun [Sort, like kind, is often erroneously used in the singular form with a plural force and connection. Compare kind.
  • noun 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.
  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete Chance; lot; destiny.


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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin sors, sort-, lot; see ser- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French sorte ("class, kind"), from Latin root of sors ("lot, fate, share, rank, category")

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French sortir ("allot, sort"), from Latin sortire ("draw lots, divide, choose"), from sors


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