Definition of category in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkadəˌɡôrē/

noun (plural categories)

1A class or division of people or things regarded as having particular shared characteristics: five categories of intelligence
More example sentences
  • The most widely used algorithms can be grouped into five main categories, as shown in Table 1.
  • All the main tax categories increased with income and corporation tax showing particularly strong surges.
  • For purposes of classification they could be divided into five broad categories.
class, classification, group, grouping, bracket, heading, set;
type, sort, kind, variety, species, breed, brand, make, model;
grade, order, rank
informal pigeonhole
2 Philosophy One of a possibly exhaustive set of classes among which all things might be distributed.
Example sentences
  • In outlining the category of substance, we have already referred to examples of the second category listed, quality.
  • Kant believed that he had arrived at his list of categories by a process of abstraction.
2.1One of the a priori conceptions applied by the mind to sense impressions.
Example sentences
  • Kantian categories of thought which we use to make sense of the world are those possessing this property, which we shall term reciprocity.
  • These fundamental categories are a priori, that is, they exist prior to experience.
  • So, for example, the category of substance is interpreted in terms of permanence.



Pronunciation: /ˌkadəˈɡôrēəl/
Example sentences
  • Of course, temporal-parts theorists may urge that this categorial distinction between objects and processes is a superficial and philosophically unjustifiable one, rooted in the idiosyncrasies of everyday grammatical forms.
  • Statistical relations between the categorial variables were analysed with SPSS software, using analysis or the Cochran Q test for related dichotomous variables.
  • The political significance of categorial identity is clear in part because we are used to thinking of politics by reference to identity categories anyway.


Late Middle English (sense 2): from French catégorie or late Latin categoria, from Greek katēgoria 'statement, accusation', from katēgoros 'accuser'.

  • First used in philosophy, this comes via French or late Latin, from Greek katēgoria ‘statement, accusation’, from katēgoros ‘accuser’.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cat·e·go·ry

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