- a particular kind, species, variety, class, or group, distinguished by a common character or nature: to develop a new sort of painting; nice people, of course, but not really our sort.
- character, quality, or nature: young people of a nice sort.
- an example of something that is undistinguished or barely adequate: He is a sort of poet.
- manner, fashion, or way: We spoke in this sort for several minutes.
- any of the individual characters making up a font of type.
- characters of a particular font that are rarely used.
- an instance of sorting.
- to arrange according to sort, kind, or class; separate into sorts; classify: to sort socks; to sort eggs by grade.
- to separate or take from other sorts or from others (often followed by out): to sort the good from the bad; to sort out the children's socks.
- to assign to a particular class, group, or place (often followed by with, together, etc.): to sort people together indiscriminately.
- Scot. to provide with food and shelter.
- Computers. to place (records) in order, as numerical or alphabetical, based on the contents of one or more keys contained in each record.Compare key1(def 19).
- Archaic. to suit; agree; fit.
- British Dialect. to associate, mingle, or be friendly.
- sort out,
- evolve; develop; turn out: We'll just have to wait and see how things sort out.
- to put in order; clarify: After I sort things out here, I'll be able to concentrate on your problem.
- of sorts,
- of a mediocre or poor kind: a tennis player of sorts.
- of one sort or another; of an indefinite kind.
- out of sorts,
- in low spirits; depressed.
- in poor health; indisposed; ill.
- in a bad temper; irritable: to be out of sorts because of the weather.
- Printing.short of certain characters of a font of type.
- sort of, Informal. in a way; somewhat; rather: Their conversation was sort of tiresome.
Origin of sort
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for sort
Is it sort of evidence of the Gladwellian 10,000 hours theory?
I had enough experiences around languages that it just sort of happened.
When he was first incarcerated, he says some sort of paperwork snafu had him imprisoned under two different, but similar, names.His First Day Out Of Jail After 40 Years: Adjusting To Life Outside
January 3, 2015
But I trusted Tony Robbins could sort me out on both fronts.Can Self-Help Books Really Make a New You?
December 29, 2014
Luckily, Tor was prepared for this sort of assault, and has built-in defenses to protect against it.The Attack on the Hidden Internet
December 29, 2014
But he had not done so, and she was glad he could be restrained and deliberate in that "breedy" sort of way.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
It had grown much too cold to do without some sort of artificial covering.
She came down to breakfast singing the words in a sort of ecstasy.Harriet, The Moses of Her People
Sarah H. Bradford
Except for a very few words we do not know what sort of tongue it was.
There is no passion in your veins; it is only a sort of sympathetic selfishness.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
- a class, group, kind, etc, as distinguished by some common quality or characteristic
- informal type of character, nature, etche's a good sort
- a more or less definable or adequate exampleit's a sort of review
- (often plural) printing any of the individual characters making up a fount of type
- archaic manner; wayin this sort we struggled home
- after a sort to some extent
- of sorts or of a sort
- of an inferior kind
- of an indefinite kind
- out of sorts not in normal good health, temper, etc
- sort of informal
- (adverb)in some way or other; as it were; rather
- (sentence substitute)used to express reservation or qualified assentI’m only joking. Sort of
- (tr) to arrange according to class, type, etc
- (tr) to put (something) into working order
- (tr) to arrange (computer information) by machine in an order convenient to the computer user
- (tr foll by with) informal to supply, esp with drugs
- (intr; foll by with, together, etc) archaic, or dialect to associate, as on friendly terms
- (intr) archaic to agree; accord
Word Origin and History for sort
late 14c., from Old French sorte "class, kind," from Latin sortem (nominative sors) "lot; fate, destiny; share, portion; rank, category; sex, class, oracular response, prophecy," from PIE root *ser- (3) "to line up" (cf. Latin serere "to arrange, attach, join;" see series). The sense evolution in Vulgar Latin is from "what is allotted to one by fate," to "fortune, condition," to "rank, class, order." Out of sorts "not in usual good condition" is attested from 1620s, with literal sense of "out of stock."