sort [sort sorts sorted sorting] noun, verb BrE [sɔːt]
NAmE [sɔːrt]
1. countable a group or type of people or things that are similar in a particular way
Syn: kind
What sort of music do you like?’ ‘Oh, all sorts.’
This sort of problem is quite common./ These sorts of problems are quite common.
He's the sort of person who only cares about money.
For dessert there's a fruit pie of some sort (= you are not sure what kind).
Most people went on training courses of one sort or another (= of various types) last year.
(informal) There were snacks— peanuts, olives, that sort of thing.
(informal) There are all sorts of activities (= many different ones) for kids at the campsite.
(informal) What sort of price did you want to pay? (= approximately how much)
(informal) What sort of time do you call this? (= I'm very angry that you have come so late.)
2. countable, usually singular (informal, especially BrE) a particular type of person
My brother would never cheat on his wife; he's not that sort.
3. (computing) singular the process of putting data in a particular order
to do a sort
more at nothing of the kind/sort at kind n.
Word Origin:
late Middle English: from Old French sorte, from an alteration of Latin sors, sort- ‘lot, condition’.
sort noun C (especially BrE)
What sort of music do you like?
kind • • type • • form • • variety • • style • • brand • • nature • • category • • class|formal genre
a sort/kind/type/form/variety/style/brand/category/class/genre of sth
a a different/the same sort/kind/type/form/variety/style/brand/nature/category/class/genre
various sorts/kinds/types/forms/styles/categories/genres
a/the/that sort/kind/type of thing
Sort, kind or type? Kind is the most frequent word in this group; sort is used more in British English. Type is slightly more formal and used more in official, scientific or academic contexts.
Grammar Point:
kind / sort
Use the singular (kind/sort) or plural (kinds/sorts) depending on the word you use before them: each/one/every kind of animal all/many/other sorts of animals.
Kind/sort of is followed by a singular or uncountable noun: This kind of question often appears in the exam. That sort of behaviour is not acceptable.
Kinds/sorts of is followed by a plural or uncountable noun: These kinds of questions often appear in the exam. These sorts of behaviour are not acceptable.
Other variations are possible but less common: These kinds of question often appear in the exam. These sort of things don’t happen in real life. (This example is very informal and is considered incorrect by some people.)
Note also that these examples are possible, especially in spoken English: The shelf was full of the sort of books I like to read. He faced the same kind of problems as his predecessor. There are many different sorts of animal on the island. What kind of camera is this? What kind/kinds of cameras do you sell? There were three kinds of cakes/cake on the plate.
Example Bank:
The shop sells all sorts of books.
We sell all sorts of books.
‘What sort of music do you like?’ ‘Oh, all sorts.’
For dessert I'll make pie of some sort.
He's the sort of person who only cares about money.
It takes all sorts (to make a world)..
Most people went on training courses of one sort or another.
There are all sorts of jobs you could do.
This sort of problem is quite common.
What sort of price are you willing to pay?
What sort of time do you call this?
Idioms: it takes all sorts of sorts out of sorts sort of sort of something
Derived: sort itself out sort somebody out sort something out sort through something
1. to arrange things in groups or in a particular order according to their type, etc; to separate things of one type from others
~ sth sorting the mail
~ sth into sth The computer sorts the words into alphabetical order.
Rubbish can easily be separated and sorted into plastics, glass and paper.
~ sth from sth Women and children sorted the ore from the rock.
see also sort out
2. often passive ~ sth (informal, especially BrE) to deal with a problem successfully or organize sth/sb properly
I'm really busy— can you sort it?
compare sorted adj.
see separate/sort out the men from the boys at man n., sort out/separate the sheep from the goats at sheep, sort out/separate the wheat from the chaff at wheat
Verb forms:
Word Origin:
late Middle English: from Old French sorte, from an alteration of Latin sors, sort- ‘lot, condition’.
sort verb T
The documents were sorted by age and type.
organize • • group • • categorize • • classify • • class • • file
sort/organize/group/categorize/classify sb/sth according to sth
sort/organize/group/categorize/classify sb/sth into/by sth
sort/group/categorize/classify/class/file sb/sth under sth
Example Bank:
I sorted the clothes out into two piles.
If he can't get his talk sorted out, we'll have to ask someone else.
Leave them to sort it out among themselves.
She started sorting through the papers.
She was busily sorting through her clothes.
Someone will have to sort this problem out.
Sort the books according to their subject matter.
The most common way of grouping was to sort the children by ability.
We sorted the washing into piles of different garments.
Data can be sorted according to its source.
Don't worry. We'll soon have this sorted.
It's all sorted.
It's our problem. We'll get it sorted.
It's time you got yourself sorted.
The documents were sorted by age and type.
The mail is sorted automatically.
The program sorts the numbers into ascending order.
Waste is sorted for recycling.
See also: sort of like

WordNet Dictionary:
1. a category of things distinguished by some common characteristic or quality
- sculpture is a form of art
- what kinds of desserts are there?
Syn: kind, form, variety
2. an approximate definition or example
- she wore a sort of magenta dress
- she served a creamy sort of dessert thing
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 is the process of sorting
Syn: sorting
1. arrange or order by classes or categories
- How would you classify these pottery shards--are they prehistoric?
Syn: classify, class, assort, sort out, separate
2. examine in order to test suitability
- screen these samples
- screen the job applicants
Syn: screen, screen out, sieve

Webster's 1913 Dictionary:
n.1.Chance; lot; destiny.
By aventure, or sort, or cas [chance].
Let blockish Ajax draw
The sort to fight with Hector.
1.A kind or species; any number or collection of individual persons or things characterized by the same or like qualities; a class or order; as, a sort of men; a sort of horses; a sort of trees; a sort of poems.
2.Manner; form of being or acting.
Which for my part I covet to perform,
In sort as through the world I did proclaim.
Flowers, in such sort worn, can neither be smelt nor seen well by those that wear them.
I'll deceive you in another sort.
To Adam in what sort
Shall I appear?
I shall not be wholly without praise, if in some sort I have copied his style.
3.Condition above the vulgar; rank.
4.A chance group; a company of persons who happen to be together; a troop; also, an assemblage of animals.
A boy, a child, and we a sort of us,
Vowed against his voyage.
5.A pair; a set; a suit.
6.(Print.) Letters, figures, points, marks, spaces, or quadrats, belonging to a case, separately considered.
Out of sorts
(Print.) with some letters or sorts of type deficient or exhausted in the case or font; hence, colloquially, out of order; ill; vexed; disturbed.
To run upon sorts
(Print.) to use or require a greater number of some particular letters, figures, or marks than the regular proportion, as, for example, in making an index.
As when the total kind
Of birds, in orderly array on wing,
Came summoned over Eden to receive
Their names of there.
None of noble sort
Would so offend a virgin.
v. t.1.To separate, and place in distinct classes or divisions, as things having different qualities; as, to sort cloths according to their colors; to sort wool or thread according to its fineness.
[imp. & p. p. Sorted; p. pr. & vb. n. Sorting.]
Rays which differ in refrangibility may be parted and sorted from one another.
2.To reduce to order from a confused state.
3.To conjoin; to put together in distribution; to class.
Shellfish have been, by some of the ancients, compared and sorted with insects.
She sorts things present with things past.
4.To choose from a number; to select; to cull.
That he may sort out a worthy spouse.
I'll sort some other time to visit you.
5.To conform; to adapt; to accommodate.
I pray thee, sort thy heart to patience.
v. i.1.To join or associate with others, esp. with others of the same kind or species; to agree.
Nor do metals only sort and herd with metals in the earth, and minerals with minerals.
The illiberality of parents towards children makes them base, and sort with any company.
2.To suit; to fit; to be in accord; to harmonize.
They are happy whose natures sort with their vocations.
Things sort not to my will.
I can not tell you precisely how they sorted.

Dictionary of Computing:
1.(application, algorithm)sort - To arrange a collection of itemsin some specified order. The items - records in a file ordata structures in memory - consist of one or more fields ormembers. One of these fields is designated as the "sort key"which means the records will be ordered according to the valueof that field. Sometimes a sequence of key fields isspecified such that if all earlier keys are equal then thelater keys will be compared. Within each field some orderingis imposed, e.g. ascending or descending numerical, lexical ordering, or date.

Sorting is the subject of a great deal of study since it is acommon operation which can consume a lot of computer time.There are many well-known sorting algorithms with differenttime and space behaviour and programming complexity.

Examples are quicksort, insertion sort, bubble sort,heap sort, and tree sort. These employ many differentdata structures to store sorted data, such as arrays,linked lists, and binary trees.
2.(tool)sort - The Unix utility program for sorting lines offiles.

Unix manual page: sort(1).

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