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Supposedly vs. Supposably


[sawrt] /sɔrt/
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.
character, quality, or nature:
young people of a nice sort.
an example of something that is undistinguished or barely adequate:
He is a sort of poet.
manner, fashion, or way:
We spoke in this sort for several minutes.
  1. any of the individual characters making up a font of type.
  2. characters of a particular font that are rarely used.
an instance of sorting.
verb (used with object)
to arrange according to sort, kind, or class; separate into sorts; classify:
to sort socks; to sort eggs by grade.
to separate or take from other sorts or from others (often followed by out):
to sort the good from the bad; to sort out the children's socks.
to assign to a particular class, group, or place (often followed by with, together, etc.):
to sort people together indiscriminately.
Scot. to provide with food and shelter.
Computers. to place (records) in order, as numerical or alphabetical, based on the contents of one or more keys contained in each record.
Compare key1 (def 19).
verb (used without object)
Archaic. to suit; agree; fit.
British Dialect. to associate, mingle, or be friendly.
Verb phrases
sort out,
  1. evolve; develop; turn out:
    We'll just have to wait and see how things sort out.
  2. to put in order; clarify:
    After I sort things out here, I'll be able to concentrate on your problem.
of sorts,
  1. of a mediocre or poor kind:
    a tennis player of sorts.
  2. of one sort or another; of an indefinite kind.
Also, of a sort.
out of sorts,
  1. in low spirits; depressed.
  2. in poor health; indisposed; ill.
  3. in a bad temper; irritable:
    to be out of sorts because of the weather.
  4. Printing. short of certain characters of a font of type.
sort of, Informal. in a way; somewhat; rather:
Their conversation was sort of tiresome.
Origin of sort
1200-50; (noun) Middle English < Middle French sorte < Medieval Latin sort- (stem of sors) kind, allotted status or portion, lot, Latin: orig., voter's lot; (v.) Middle English sorten to allot, arrange, assort (< Middle French sortir) < Latin sortīrī to draw lots, derivative of sors; later senses influenced by the noun and by assort
Related forms
sortable, adjective
sortably, adverb
sorter, noun
missort, verb
subsort, noun
subsort, verb
subsorter, noun
undersort, verb (used with object)
unsort, verb (used with object)
unsortable, adjective
Can be confused
kind, sort, type (see usage note at kind; see usage note at type)
1. class, family, order, rank, character, nature.
Usage note
See kind2. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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