sort of

Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to sort of: short of


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
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.
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.
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- 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"
نوعا ما، الى حَدٍّ ما
hálf-, hálfpartinn


(soːt) noun
a class, type or kind. I like all sorts of books; She was wearing a sort of crown.
to separate into classes or groups, putting each item in its place. She sorted the buttons into large ones and small ones.
ˈsorter noun
a person or machine that separates and arranges, especially letters, postcards etc.
of a sort / of sorts
of a (usually poor) kind. She threw together a meal of sorts but we were still hungry afterwards.
out of sorts
1. slightly unwell. I felt a bit out of sorts after last night's heavy meal.
2. not in good spirits or temper. He's been a little out of sorts since they told him to stay at home.
sort of
rather; in a way; to a certain extent. He was sort of peculiar!; I feel sort of worried about him.
sort out
1. to separate (one lot or type of) things from a general mixture. I'll try to sort out some books that he might like.
2. to correct, improve, solve etc. You must sort out your business affairs.
3. to attend to, usually by punishing or reprimanding. I'll soon sort you out, you evil little man!
References in classic literature ?
Thus alteration is a distinct sort of motion; for, if it were not, the thing altered would not only be altered, but would forthwith necessarily suffer increase or diminution or some one of the other sorts of motion in addition; which as a matter of fact is not the case.
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.
Old now in the number of her years, she had that sort of exceptional temperament which defies time with scornful disregard, as if it were a rather vulgar convention submitted to by the mass of inferior mankind.
All this I say, housekeeper, that you may see the difference there is between the one sort of knight and the other; and it would be well if there were no prince who did not set a higher value on this second, or more properly speaking first, kind of knights-errant; for, as we read in their histories, there have been some among them who have been the salvation, not merely of one kingdom, but of many.
But what sort of an abode have I lighted upon, Barbara Alexievna?
One is constantly wondering what sort of lives other people lead, and how they take things.
Indeed, he said, I am strongly of opinion that they ought not to hear that sort of thing.
Every one in the place, except one poor woman, seems to look upon him as a sort of supernatural being.
I don't mean one of those two-pages-to-the-week-with-Sunday-squeezed-in-a-corner diaries, but a sort of journal which I can write in whenever I feel inclined.
Perhaps it's because you were intelligent enough to perceive that I was not in love with you in any sort of style.
While the stars that oversprinkle All the heavens, seem to twinkle With a crystalline delight; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells From the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells - From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.