sort of


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sort

 (sort)
n.
1. A group of persons or things of the same general character; a kind. See Usage Note at kind2.
2. Character or nature: books of a subversive sort.
3. One that exemplifies the characteristics of or serves a similar function to another: "A large dinner-party ... made a sort of general introduction for her to the society of the neighbourhood" (George Eliot).
4. A person; an individual: The clerk is a decent sort.
5. Computers An operation that arranges data in a specified way: did an alphabetic sort on the columns of data.
6. Archaic A way of acting or behaving: "in this sort the simple household lived / From day to day" (William Wordsworth).
v. sort·ed, sort·ing, sorts
v.tr.
1. To place or arrange according to class, kind, or size; classify: sorted the books into boxes by genre. See Synonyms at arrange.
2. To separate from others: sort the wheat from the chaff.
v.intr.
1. To make a search or examination of a collection of things: sorted through the laundry looking for a matching sock.
2. To be or become arranged in a certain way.
Phrasal Verb:
sort out
1. To separate from others: sorted out the books to be donated to the library.
2. To clarify or resolve: She tried to sort out her problems.
3. To bring or restore to health or good condition: A good night's sleep will sort you out.
4. To reprimand or punish (someone) for a mistake or offense.
Idioms:
after a sort
In a haphazard or imperfect way: managed to paint the chair after a sort.
of sorts/a sort
1. Of a mediocre or inferior kind: a constitutional government of a sort.
2. Of one kind or another: knew many folktales of sorts.
out of sorts
1. Slightly ill.
2. Irritable; cross: The teacher is out of sorts this morning.
sort of Informal
Somewhat; rather: "Gambling and prostitution ... have been prohibited, but only sort of" (George F. Will).

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin sors, sort-, lot; see ser-2 in Indo-European roots.]

sort′a·ble adj.
sort′er n.

sort of

kind of

In conversation and in less formal writing, people use sort of or kind of in front of a noun to say that something could be described as being a particular thing.

It's a sort of dictionary of dictionaries.
I'm a kind of anarchist, I suppose.

People also use sort of or kind of in front of adjectives, verbs, and other types of word to mean 'a little' or 'in some way', or with very little meaning.

I felt kind of sorry for him.
I've sort of heard of him, but I don't know who he is.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.sort of - to some (great or small) extent; "it was rather cold"; "the party was rather nice"; "the knife is rather dull"; "I rather regret that I cannot attend"; "He's rather good at playing the cello"; "he is kind of shy"
References in classic literature ?
Harold March was the sort of man who knows everything about politics, and nothing about politicians.
He found himself wondering, in an impersonal sort of way, that these things should so little affect him.
But what sort of an abode have I lighted upon, Barbara Alexievna?