of a sort

of a sort


  1. 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.
  2. character, quality, or nature: young people of a nice sort.
  3. an example of something that is undistinguished or barely adequate: He is a sort of poet.
  4. manner, fashion, or way: We spoke in this sort for several minutes.
  5. Printing.
    1. any of the individual characters making up a font of type.
    2. characters of a particular font that are rarely used.
  6. an instance of sorting.

verb (used with object)

  1. to arrange according to sort, kind, or class; separate into sorts; classify: to sort socks; to sort eggs by grade.
  2. 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.
  3. to assign to a particular class, group, or place (often followed by with, together, etc.): to sort people together indiscriminately.
  4. Scot. to provide with food and shelter.
  5. 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)

  1. Archaic. to suit; agree; fit.
  2. British Dialect. to associate, mingle, or be friendly.

Verb Phrases

  1. 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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.
  3. sort of, Informal. in a way; somewhat; rather: Their conversation was sort of tiresome.


  1. a class, group, kind, etc, as distinguished by some common quality or characteristic
  2. informal type of character, nature, etche’s a good sort
  3. a more or less definable or adequate exampleit’s a sort of review
  4. (often plural) printing any of the individual characters making up a fount of type
  5. archaic manner; wayin this sort we struggled home
  6. after a sort to some extent
  7. of sorts or of a sort
    1. of an inferior kind
    2. of an indefinite kind
  8. out of sorts not in normal good health, temper, etc
  9. sort of informal
    1. (adverb)in some way or other; as it were; rather
    2. (sentence substitute)used to express reservation or qualified assentI’m only joking. Sort of


  1. (tr) to arrange according to class, type, etc
  2. (tr) to put (something) into working order
  3. (tr) to arrange (computer information) by machine in an order convenient to the computer user
  4. (tr foll by with) informal to supply, esp with drugs
  5. (intr; foll by with, together, etc) archaic, or dialect to associate, as on friendly terms
  6. (intr) archaic to agree; accord

n.late 14c., from Old French sorte “class, kind,” from Latin sortem (nominative sors) “lot; fate, destiny; share, portion; rank, category; sex, class, oracular response, prophecy,” from PIE root *ser- (3) “to line up” (cf. Latin serere “to arrange, attach, join;” see series). The sense evolution in Vulgar Latin 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 1620s, with literal sense of “out of stock.” v.mid-14c., “to arrange according to type or quality,” from Old French sortir “allot, sort, assort,” from Latin sortiri “draw lots, divide, choose,” from sors (see sort (n.)). In some senses, the verb is a shortened form of assort. see of sorts. see after a fashion (sort); all kinds (sorts) of; bad sort; it takes all sorts; kind (sort) of; nothing of the kind (sort); of sorts; out of sorts.

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