[ kat-i-gawr-ee, -gohr-ee ]
See synonyms for: categorycategories on

noun,plural cat·e·go·ries.
  1. any general or comprehensive division; a class.

  2. a classificatory division in any field of knowledge, as a phylum or any of its subdivisions in biology.

  1. Metaphysics.

    • (in Aristotelian philosophy) any of the fundamental modes of existence, such as substance, quality, and quantity, as determined by analysis of the different possible kinds of predication.

    • (in Kantian philosophy) any of the fundamental principles of the understanding, as the principle of causation.

    • any classification of terms that is ultimate and not susceptible to further analysis.

  2. categories. Also called Guggenheim. (used with a singular verb) a game in which a key word and a list of categories, as dogs, automobiles, or rivers, are selected, and in which each player writes down a word in each category that begins with each of the letters of the key word, the player writing down the most words within a time limit being declared the winner.

  3. Mathematics. a type of mathematical object, as a set, group, or metric space, together with a set of mappings from such an object to other objects of the same type.

  4. Grammar. part of speech.

Origin of category

First recorded in 1580–90; from Late Latin catēgoria, from Greek katēgoría “accusation” (in logic, “predication”), from katēgoreîn “to accuse, affirm,” from kata- cata- + agoreúein “to speak before the agora1 ” + -ia -y3

Other words for category

Words Nearby category Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use category in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for category


/ (ˈkætɪɡərɪ) /

nounplural -ries
  1. a class or group of things, people, etc, possessing some quality or qualities in common; a division in a system of classification

  2. metaphysics any one of the most basic classes into which objects and concepts can be analysed

    • (in the philosophy of Aristotle) any one of ten most fundamental modes of being, such as quantity, quality, and substance

    • (in the philosophy of Kant) one of twelve concepts required by human beings to interpret the empirical world

    • any set of objects, concepts, or expressions distinguished from others within some logical or linguistic theory by the intelligibility of a specific set of statements concerning them: See also category mistake

Origin of category

C15: from Late Latin catēgoria, from Greek katēgoria, from kategorein to accuse, assert

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012