[ sawrt ]
/ sɔrt /
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.
verb (used with object)
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).
verb (used without object)
Archaic. to suit; agree; fit.
British Dialect. to associate, mingle, or be friendly.
- 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 a mediocre or poor kind: a tennis player of sorts.
- of one sort or another; of an indefinite kind.
- 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.
out of sorts,
sort of, Informal. in a way; somewhat; rather: Their conversation was sort of tiresome.
Origin of sort
1200–50; (noun) Middle English < Middle French sorte < Medieval Latin sort- (stem of sors) kind, allotted status or portion, lot, Latin: orig., voter's lot; (v.) Middle English sorten to allot, arrange, assort (< Middle French sortir) < Latin sortīrī to draw lots, derivative of sors; later senses influenced by the noun and by assort
sort·a·ble, adjectivesort·a·bly, adverbsort·er, nounmis·sort, verb
sub·sort, nounsub·sort, verbsub·sort·er, nounun·der·sort, verb (used with object)un·sort, verb (used with object)un·sort·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for of a sort
/ (sɔːt) /
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
Derived Formssortable, adjectivesortably, adverbsorter, noun
Word Origin for sort
C14: from Old French, from Medieval Latin sors kind, from Latin: fate
See kind 2
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
Idioms and Phrases with of a sort (1 of 2)
of a sort
see of sorts.
Idioms and Phrases with of a sort (2 of 2)
see after a fashion (sort); all kinds (sorts) of; bad sort; it takes all sorts; kind (sort) of; nothing of the kind (sort); of sorts; out of sorts.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.