/sawrt/, n.1. a particular kind, species, variety, class, or group, distinguished by a common character or nature: to develop a new sort of painting; nice people, of course, but not really our sort.2. character, quality, or nature: young people of a nice sort.3. an example of something that is undistinguished or barely adequate: He is a sort of poet.4. manner, fashion, or way: We spoke in this sort for several minutes.5. Print.a. any of the individual characters making up a font of type.b. characters of a particular font that are rarely used.6. an instance of sorting.7. of sorts,a. of a mediocre or poor kind: a tennis player of sorts.b. of one sort or another; of an indefinite kind. Also, of a sort.8. out of sorts,a. in low spirits; depressed.b. in poor health; indisposed; ill.c. in a bad temper; irritable: to be out of sorts because of the weather.d. Print. short of certain characters of a font of type.9. sort of, Informal. in a way; somewhat; rather: Their conversation was sort of tiresome.v.t.10. to arrange according to sort, kind, or class; separate into sorts; classify: to sort socks; to sort eggs by grade.11. to separate or take from other sorts or from others (often fol. by out): to sort the good from the bad; to sort out the children's socks.12. to assign to a particular class, group, or place (often fol. by with, together, etc.): to sort people together indiscriminately.13. Scot. to provide with food and shelter.14. Computers. to place (records) in order, as numerical or alphabetical, based on the contents of one or more keys contained in each record. Cf. key1 (def. 19).v.i.15. Archaic. to suit; agree; fit.16. Brit. Dial. to associate, mingle, or be friendly.17. sort out,a. evolve; develop; turn out: We'll just have to wait and see how things sort out.b. to put in order; clarify: After I sort things out here, I'll be able to concentrate on your problem.[1200-50; (n.) ME < MF sorte < ML sort- (s. of sors) kind, allotted status or portion, lot, L: orig., voter's lot; (v.) ME sorten to allot, arrange, assort ( < MF sortir) < L sortiri to draw lots, deriv. of sors; later senses influenced by the n. and by ASSORT]Syn. 1. family, order, race, rank, character, nature.
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