sorts out


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.
any of the individual characters making up a font of type.
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,
evolve; develop; turn out: We'll just have to wait and see how things sort out.
to put in order; clarify: After I sort things out here, I'll be able to concentrate on your problem.
of sorts,
of a mediocre or poor kind: a tennis player of sorts.
of one sort or another; of an indefinite kind.
Also, of a sort.
out of sorts,
in low spirits; depressed.
in poor health; indisposed; ill.
in a bad temper; irritable: to be out of sorts because of the weather.
Printing. short of certain characters of a font of type.
sort of, Informal. in a way; somewhat; rather: Their conversation was sort of tiresome.

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

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

kind, sort, type (see usage note at kind)(see usage note at type).

1. family, order, race, rank, character, nature.

See kind2. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sort (sɔːt)
1.  a class, group, kind, etc, as distinguished by some common quality or characteristic
2.  informal type of character, nature, etc: he's a good sort
3.  a more or less definable or adequate example: it's a sort of review
4.  (often plural) printing any of the individual characters making up a fount of type
5.  archaic manner; way: in this sort we struggled home
6.  after a sort to some extent
7.  of sorts, of a sort
 a.  of an inferior kind
 b.  of an indefinite kind
8.  out of sorts not in normal good health, temper, etc
9.  informal sort of
 a.  (adverb) in some way or other; as it were; rather
 b.  (sentence substitute) used to express reservation or qualified assent: I’m only joking. Sort of
vb (foll by with)
10.  (tr) to arrange according to class, type, etc
11.  (tr) to put (something) into working order
12.  (tr) to arrange (computer information) by machine in an order convenient to the computer user
13.  informal to supply, esp with drugs
14.  archaic, dialect or (intr; foll by with, together, etc) to associate, as on friendly terms
15.  archaic (intr) to agree; accord
[C14: from Old French, from Medieval Latin sors kind, from Latin: fate]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1380, from O.Fr. sorte "class, kind," from L. sortem (nom. sors) "lot, fate, share, portion, rank, category," from PIE base *ser- "to line up" (cf. L. serere "to arrange, attach, join;" see series). The sense evolution in V.L. is from "what is allotted to one by fate,"
to "fortune, condition," to "rank, class, order." Out of sorts "not in usual good condition" is attested from 1621, with lit. sense of "out of stock."

1358, "to arrange according to type or quality," from O.Fr. sortir "allot, sort, assort," from L. sortiri "draw lots, divide, choose," from sors (see sort (n.)). In some senses, the verb is a shortened form of assort.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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