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[kat-i-gawr-ee, -gohr-ee] /ˈkæt ɪˌgɔr i, -ˌgoʊr i/
noun, plural categories.
any general or comprehensive division; a class.
a classificatory division in any field of knowledge, as a phylum or any of its subdivisions in biology.
  1. (in Aristotelian philosophy) any of the fundamental modes of existence, such as substance, quality, and quantity, as determined by analysis of the different possible kinds of predication.
  2. (in Kantian philosophy) any of the fundamental principles of the understanding, as the principle of causation.
  3. any classification of terms that is ultimate and not susceptible to further analysis.
categories, Also called Guggenheim. (used with a singular verb) a game in which a key word and a list of categories, as dogs, automobiles, or rivers, are selected, and in which each player writes down a word in each category that begins with each of the letters of the key word, the player writing down the most words within a time limit being declared the winner.
Mathematics. a type of mathematical object, as a set, group, or metric space, together with a set of mappings from such an object to other objects of the same type.
Grammar. part of speech.
Origin of category
1580-90; < Late Latin catēgoria < Greek katēgoría accusation (also, kind of predication), equivalent to katḗgor(os) accuser, affirmer (katēgor(eîn) to accuse, affirm, literally, speak publicly against, equivalent to kata- cata- + -agoreîn to speak before the agora + -os noun suffix) + -ia -y3
1. group, grouping, type. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for category
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Betteredge's present effort at corresponding with me came within this category.

    The Moonstone Wilkie Collins
  • The category of quantity, therefore, does not admit of variation of degree.

    The Categories Aristotle
  • This might take it out of the category of crosses as a symbol of any religion of which we have knowledge.

    The Swastika Thomas Wilson
  • So it is with all other contraries falling under the category of quality.

    The Categories Aristotle
  • For those who commonly go by the name of the Seven Sages are not admitted into the category of the wise by fastidious critics.

    Treatises on Friendship and Old Age Marcus Tullius Cicero
British Dictionary definitions for category


noun (pl) -ries
a class or group of things, people, etc, possessing some quality or qualities in common; a division in a system of classification
(metaphysics) any one of the most basic classes into which objects and concepts can be analysed
  1. (in the philosophy of Aristotle) any one of ten most fundamental modes of being, such as quantity, quality, and substance
  2. (in the philosophy of Kant) one of twelve concepts required by human beings to interpret the empirical world
  3. any set of objects, concepts, or expressions distinguished from others within some logical or linguistic theory by the intelligibility of a specific set of statements concerning them See also category mistake
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin catēgoria, from Greek katēgoria, from kategorein to accuse, assert
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for category

1580s, from Middle French catégorie, from Late Latin categoria, from Greek kategoria "accusation, prediction, category," verbal noun from kategorein "to speak against; to accuse, assert, predicate," from kata "down to" (or perhaps "against;" see cata-) + agoreuein "to harangue, to declaim (in the assembly)," from agora "public assembly" (see agora). Original sense of "accuse" weakened to "assert, name" by the time Aristotle applied kategoria to his 10 classes of things that can be named.

category should be used by no-one who is not prepared to state (1) that he does not mean class, & (2) that he knows the difference between the two .... [Fowler]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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category in Technology
A category K is a collection of objects, obj(K), and a collection of morphisms (or "arrows"), mor(K) such that
1. Each morphism f has a "typing" on a pair of objects A, B written f:A->B. This is read 'f is a morphism from A to B'. A is the "source" or "domain" of f and B is its "target" or "co-domain".
2. There is a partial function on morphisms called composition and denoted by an infix ring symbol, o. We may form the "composite" g o f : A -> C if we have g:B->C and f:A->B.
3. This composition is associative: h o (g o f) = (h o g) o f.
4. Each object A has an identity morphism id_A:A->A associated with it. This is the identity under composition, shown by the equations
id__B o f = f = f o id__A.
In general, the morphisms between two objects need not form a set (to avoid problems with Russell's paradox). An example of a category is the collection of sets where the objects are sets and the morphisms are functions.
Sometimes the composition ring is omitted. The use of capitals for objects and lower case letters for morphisms is widespread but not universal. Variables which refer to categories themselves are usually written in a script font.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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