(1)   An approximate definition or example
"She wore a sort of magenta dress"
"She served a creamy sort of dessert thing"
(2)   A category of things distinguished by some common characteristic or quality
"Sculpture is a form of art"
"What kinds of desserts are there?"
(3)   A person of a particular character or nature
"What sort of person is he?"
"He's a good sort"
(4)   An operation that segregates items into groups according to a specified criterion
"The bottleneck in mail delivery it the process of sorting"


(5)   Arrange or order by classes or categories
"How would you classify these pottery shards--are they prehistoric?"
(6)   Examine in order to test suitability
"Screen these samples"
"Screen the job applicants"

Etymology 1

From , from root of


  1. A general type.
  2. group, company.
  3. A person.
    This guy's a decent sort.
  4. An act of sorting.
    I had a sort of my cupboard
  5. An algorithm for sorting a list of items into a particular order.
  6. A piece of metal type used to print one letter, character, or symbol in a particular size and style.

genre, genus, kind, type, variety character, individual, person, type sort-out sort algorithm, sorting algorithm glyph, type
  • See also Wikisaurus:class

Etymology 2

From , from , from


  1. To separate according to certain criteria.
  2. To arrange into some order, especially numerically, alphabetically or chronologically.

categorise/categorize, class, classify, group order, rank