Definition of sort in English:

sort

Line breaks: sort
Pronunciation: /sɔːt
 
/

noun

  • 2 [mass noun] Computing The arrangement of data in a prescribed sequence.
    More example sentences
    • Both cache size and sort size affect memory usage, so you cannot maximize one without affecting the other.
    • Another beneficial practice is to perform an exploratory card sort once the content for the website is determined.
  • 3 archaic A manner or way: in law also the Judge is in a sort superior to his King
    More example sentences
    • Gitmo, as it has become known, still remains in a sort legal limbo.
    • It forms, in a sort, or is to form, the compensating balance-wheel of the successful working machinery of aggregate America.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
  • 2Resolve (a problem or difficulty): the teacher helps the children to sort out their problems
    More example sentences
    • However, some expect the group to emerge form bankruptcy sometime next year, once it has sorted its problems.
    • But the bulk of the problem is that social work departments are not incentivised to sort this problem.
    • Either way we need to sort out poverty and sustainability together or neither will be sorted.
  • 2.1Resolve the problems or difficulties of: I need time to sort myself out
    More example sentences
    • I told him I still loved him and I resolved to help him sort himself out when he felt he was up to it.
    • We were in real trouble before he came to us and he sorted us out.
    • Many attempts have been made to sort you out but your criminal behaviour in December last year and early this year indicates you still have problems.

Phrases

after a sort

dated After a fashion.
More example sentences
  • However, the mini-adventure solves the problem of getting the players to Middenheim, so it is successful after a sort.

in some sort

dated To a certain extent: I am in some sort indebted to you
More example sentences
  • They were in some sort happy in the opportunity of their death.

it takes all sorts to make a world

proverb People vary greatly in character, tastes, and abilities (often used as a comment on what the speaker feels to be strange behaviour): he was wearing make-up—well, it takes all sorts
More example sentences
  • I read that Wittgenstein thought the old English expression ‘it takes all sorts to make a world’ a kind and goodly phrase - and so it is.
  • They say it takes all sorts to make a world, and it seems to me that it takes all sorts to break it as well.
  • To cut a long story short, it takes all sorts to make a world, and it takes all sorts to make a virtual world too.

nothing of the sort

Used as an emphatic way of denying permission or refuting an earlier statement: ‘I’ll pay.’ ‘You’ll do nothing of the sort.’
More example sentences
  • Now Alexander said nothing of the sort, and, neither did Gilchrist get his permission.
  • While he may continue to profess a desire for an ‘informed national debate’ it seems increasingly likely he wants nothing of the sort.
  • As far as disrupting the drug trade, they did nothing of the sort, which is just fine, because no doubt few residents feel it's a good idea to disrupt it.

of a sort

(or of sorts)
informal Of a somewhat unusual or inferior kind: the training camp actually became a tourist attraction of sorts
More example sentences
  • It would be reasonable to conclude Princess Diaries 2 offered a refuge of sorts.
  • I'm going to have to come up with a game of sorts with rules and things.
  • I was at a party of sorts at the weekend, although it was an older persons party.

out of sorts

Slightly unwell: she’s been feeling nauseous and generally out of sorts
More example sentences
  • With Tiger slightly out of sorts last year, the Americans had to hold off a stiff challenge from hosts Argentina, who were represented by Eduardo Romero and Angel Cabrera.
  • Occasionally, as if by accident, Nora's daughter Beth would turn up, a bit weary from the sea and slightly out of sorts, and Nora would do her best to get her seaworthy again.
  • With Harrington pulling his iron shots and looking slightly out of sorts, it was left to Montgomerie to steady the European ship.
Synonyms
unwell, ill, poorly, bad, indisposed, not oneself, sick, queasy, nauseous, nauseated, peaky, liverish, green about the gills, run down, washed out; British off, off colour
informal under the weather, below par, not up to par, not up to the mark, funny, peculiar, rough, lousy, rotten, awful, terrible, dreadful, crummy
British informal grotty, ropy
Scottish informal wabbit, peely-wally
Australian/New Zealand informal crook
dated seedy
In low spirits; irritable: the trying events of the day had put him out of sorts
More example sentences
  • The boarding and takeoff found me only slightly out of sorts; an irritating whining noise near the gate was troubling me.
  • Upon returning to the USA, Bret found himself sleeping poorly, becoming irritable and generally acting and feeling out of sorts.
  • Are you feeling angry, impatient, or out of sorts every time you think of it?
Synonyms
irritable, irascible, peevish, fractious, fretful, cross, crabbed, crabby, crotchety, cantankerous, curmudgeonly, disagreeable, petulant, pettish; on edge, edgy, impatient, complaining, querulous, peppery, bitter, moody, grumpy, huffy, scratchy, ill-tempered, bad-tempered, ill-natured, ill-humoured, sullen, surly, sulky, sour, churlish, touchy, testy, tetchy, snappish, waspish, crusty, bilious, liverish, dyspeptic, splenetic, choleric
British informal narky, ratty, eggy, stroppy, shirty
North American informal peckish, sorehead, soreheaded
Australian/New Zealand informal snaky
informal , • dated miffy
unhappy, dejected, sad, miserable, down, downhearted, downcast, depressed, blue, melancholy, morose, gloomy, glum, dispirited, discouraged, disheartened, despondent, disconsolate, with a long face, forlorn, crestfallen, woebegone, subdued, fed up, low, in low spirits, in the doldrums, heavy-hearted
British informal brassed off, cheesed off, browned off, peed off
North American informal teed off, ticked off
vulgar slang pissed off

sort of

informal To some extent; in some way or other: ‘Do you see what I mean?’ ‘Sort of,’ answered Jean cautiously
More example sentences
  • I'm going on my own with no clue about who is going to be there, which is sort of scary.
  • You spray it in a big gap, and it sort of foams up dramatically in order to fill said aperture.
  • I sort of assume you do so much writing that you don't need to do anything to keep sharp.
Synonyms
slightly, faintly, remotely, vaguely; somewhat, moderately, quite, rather, fairly, reasonably, comparatively, relatively, to a limited extent/degree, to a certain degree, to some extent
informal pretty, kind of, kinda, ish
as it were, in a (strange) kind of way, somehow

sort out the men from the boys

Show or prove who is the best at a particular activity.
More example sentences
  • The mountains apparently sort out the men from the boys.

the —— sort

The kind of person likely to do or be involved with the thing specified: she’d never imagined Steve to be the marrying sort
More example sentences
  • He says that he isn't the marrying sort.

Phrasal verbs

sort someone out

informal Deal with a troublesome person, typically by reprimanding or punishing them: if he can’t pay you, I’ll sort him out
More example sentences
  • Later, an improbable cop sorts Clem out: ‘You're what I call a sins-of-the-world type.’
  • If you don't get (my son] sorted, I will come back and sort you out.
  • I will be back with an army of men from Manchester to sort you out.

sort something out

  • 1Separate something from a mixed group: she sorted out the lettuce from the spinach
    More example sentences
    • I am all for recycling and happily sorted my waste out for disposal in the separate skips.
    • Trent quickly sorted the names out into two separate columns.
    • The game involved them sorting the cards out into several shifting categories of species, weaknesses and grades.
    Synonyms
    separate (out), pick out, divide, isolate, remove, segregate, sift, sieve, weed out, winnow; keep apart; put to one side
  • 2Arrange or organize something: they are anxious to sort out travelling arrangements
    More example sentences
    • I've sorted the travel - that's no problem.

Derivatives

sortable

adjective
More example sentences
  • People one knows are thus conveniently sortable into three categories, rather than just two.
  • Queries for ‘digital cameras’ or ‘black socks’ return a list of products sortable by price or by merchant.
  • The resources, interests and experiences of your volunteers should be documented on their volunteer sign-up form, and entered into a sortable database.

sorter

noun
More example sentences
  • Everyone was great, most of the wool sorters were Bradfordians and I can't begin to say how good those days were.
  • The owners were devastated to see the shed - which contained go-karts, a tractor, tomato sorters, a motorhome and several other items - melt to the ground on Monday morning.
  • There used to be a big General Post Office round the corner, and its sandwich-nibbling sorters earned this place the unlikely nickname ‘Postman's Park’.

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French sorte, from an alteration of Latin sors, sort- 'lot, condition'.

Usage

The construction these sort of, as in I don’t want to answer these sort of questions , is technically ungrammatical. This is because these is plural and needs to agree with a plural noun (in this case sorts rather than sort). The construction is undoubtedly common and has been used for hundreds of years, but is best avoided in formal writing. See also kind1 (usage).

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