Meaning of “sort” in the English Dictionary

"sort" in British English

See all translations


uk /sɔːt/ us /sɔːrt/

sort noun (TYPE)

A2 [ C ] a group of things that are of the same type or that share similar qualities:

We both like the same sort of music.
I'm going to have a salad of some sort.
What sort of shoes will I need?
We saw all sorts (= many types) of animals in the park.
Many sorts of bacteria are resistant to penicillin.
This sort of camera is very expensive.
Plants of this sort need shady conditions.
your sort

the type of thing or person that you like:

Hmm, this is my sort of wine!
I'd have thought these black trousers were more your sort of thing.
I wouldn't have thought he was your sort (= was the type of man you would be attracted to).
(and) that sort of thing B1 informal

used to show that what you have just said is only an example from a much larger group of things:

They sell souvenirs, postcards, that sort of thing.

More examples

  • He struck me as an affable sort of a man.
  • There was some sort of property deal that didn't come off.
  • He hates physical contact of any sort - he doesn't even like to shake your hand.
  • What sort of music do you like dancing to?
  • His condition was diagnosed as some sort of blood disorder.


uk /sɔːt/ us /sɔːrt/

sort verb (ORDER)

B2 [ I or T ] to put a number of things in an order or to separate them into groups:

Paper, plastic, and cans are sorted for recycling.
I'm going to sort these old books into those to be kept and those to be thrown away.
You can use the computer to sort the newspaper articles alphabetically, by date, or by subject.
She found the ring while sorting (through) some clothes.

More examples

  • Eggs are sorted into different sizes by a machine.
  • We no longer use manual sorting of letters.
  • The eggs are sorted into different sizes.
  • They sorted the rotten apples from the good ones.
  • The students were sorted according to ability.

sort verb (DEAL WITH)

[ T ] UK informal to deal with something by repairing or organizing it:

Can you sort the car by tomorrow?
We must get the phone sorted soon.
I must get this paperwork sorted before I go on holiday next week.

More examples

  • In all seriousness now - joking aside - I do think there's a problem here that we've got to get sorted.
  • I need to get tomorrow's food sorted.
  • At least that's Sam's birthday present sorted.
  • The plumber came and got the leak sorted.
  • I need to get my bike sorted.

(Definition of “sort” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"sort" in American English

See all translations

sortnoun [ C ]

us /sɔrt/

sort noun [ C ] (TYPE)

a group of things that are of the same type or that share similar qualities:

What sort of equipment will she need?
He was squinting through the eyepiece of some sort of navigational device.

Sort can sometimes refer to a person of a particular type:

What sort of person do you think I am?
a sort of also sort of

A person might say a sort of or sort of when describing something about which the person does not have a clear or exact knowledge:

He’s a sort of agent for athletes, but not officially.
She’s sort of running the company, I think, but her parents are still involved.


sortverb [ I/T ]

us /sɔrt/

sort verb [ I/T ] (PUT IN ORDER)

to put things in a particular order or separate them into groups according to a principle:

[ T ] We have to sort the job applications into groups based on their qualifications.
[ T ] Paper, plastic, and cans are sorted for recycling.
[ M ] Sort out the clothes that you don’t want, and we’ll donate them to a charity.
[ I always + adv/prep ] He spent hours sorting through the photos (= searching them to find one).

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “sort” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"sort" in Business English

See all translations

sortverb [ I or T ]

uk /sɔːt/ us

to put a number of things in an order or to separate them into groups:

Documents are sorted and indexed.
sort sth by sth Customer records can be sorted by name or by postcode.

Phrasal verb(s)

sortnoun [ C ]

uk /sɔːt/ us IT

a computer instruction that organizes things into a particular order:

He's written a sort program for the database.

(Definition of “sort” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)