Definition of classify in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈklasəˌfī/

verb (classifies, classifying, classified)

[with object]
1Arrange (a group of people or things) in classes or categories according to shared qualities or characteristics: mountain peaks are classified according to their shape
More example sentences
  • These groups are classified into three cultures: those in the interior, the countryside, and the coastal regions.
  • These shares are classified by their back-end or contingent deferred sales charge.
  • A successful insurance policy allows individuals to be correctly classified into a risk category.
1.1Assign (someone or something) to a particular class or category: elements are usually classified as metals or nonmetals
More example sentences
  • As a result people coming from countries on the list cannot be classified as asylum seekers because, by definition, none of its citizens can be considered under threat.
  • For the first time in the five-year history of the Classic, it is being classified as a Category 1 event by the World Professional Darts Council.
  • For a pothole to be classified as ‘Category One’ it would have to be four inches deep, or be assessed by an expert as being dangerous on other grounds.
categorize, group, grade, rank, rate, order, organize, range, sort, type, codify, bracket, systematize, systemize;
catalog, list, file, index, lump
1.2Designate (documents or information) as officially secret or to which only authorized people may have access: government officials classified 6.3 million documents in 1992
More example sentences
  • There are exceptions to protect the privacy of individuals, but the state's power to classify documents as national-security secrets is strictly limited.
  • We have learned to our dismay how quick government officials are to classify information, even when it is already in the public domain.
  • Only the president, the premier or cabinet members acting as proxy for either of them can classify a document as ‘top secret.’



Pronunciation: /ˈˌklasəˈfīəbəl/
Example sentences
  • We've made no move to become more concrete or classifiable in our sound.
  • My sense is that under the imprint, she gives herself more room to explore material not classifiable as or forced into the mystery-thriller-crime-novel genre.
  • Altogether, the film is funny, sensual, intellectual, quirky, and not easily classifiable in terms of its genre.


Pronunciation: /-fikəˌtôrē/
Example sentences
  • The racial and sexual tensions of the late eighteenth century led to a narration of nature that included the classificatory schema that developed into the natural sciences.
  • Of course, it's still subject to a range of objections and qualifications, but so is any classificatory system.
  • As a taxonomist, he was only too familiar with the fragility of classificatory schema.


Late 18th century: back-formation from classification, from French, from classe 'class', from Latin classis 'division'.

Words that rhyme with classify


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: clas·si·fy

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