sort1 W1S1 [so:t US so:rt] n
2 sort of
3 of sorts/of a sort
4 sort of thing
5 what sort of ...?
6 nothing of the sort
8 it takes all sorts (to make a world)
[Date: 1300-1400; : Old French; Origin: sorte, from Latin sors 'chance, what you get by luck, share, condition']
1.) ¦(TYPE/KIND)¦
a group or class of people, things etc that have similar qualities or features
= ↑type, kind ↑kind sort of
What sort of shampoo do you use?
all sorts (of sth)
(=a lot of different types of things)
They play pop, rock, jazz, soul, all sorts in there.
I like all sorts of food - I'm not fussy.
of this/that sort
On expeditions of this sort you have to be prepared for trouble.
of some sort/some sort of sth
(=used when you do not know exactly what type)
He wondered if Rosa was in some sort of trouble.
There was a game of some sort going on inside.
Most of the victims developed psychological problems of one sort or another (=of various different types) .
They do burgers, pizzas, that sort of thing .
see usage notetype1
2.) sort ofspoken
a) used to say that something is partly true but does not describe the exact situation
I sort of like him, but I don't know why.
'Do you know what I mean?' 'Sort of.'
b) used when you are trying to describe something but it is difficult to find the right word or to be exact
Then they started sort of chanting.
The walls are a sort of greeny-blue colour.
sort of like
(=used very informally when searching for the right words)
It was sort of like really strange and mysterious, walking round this empty building.
c) used to make what you are saying sound less strong or direct
Well, I sort of thought we could go out together sometime.
It was sort of a shock when I found out.
d) sort of price/time/speed etc
especially BrE a price etc that is not very exact, but could be slightly more or less
That's the sort of price I was hoping to pay.
What sort of time were you thinking of starting?
3.) of sorts/of a sort
used when something is not a good or typical example of its kind of thing
I had a conversation of sorts with a very drunk man at the bus stop.
4.) sort of thing
spoken especially BrE used when you are mentioning or describing something in a way that is not definite or exact
We could just stay here and pass the time, sort of thing.
She uses a wheelchair sort of thing.
5.) what sort of ...?
spoken especially BrE used when you are angry about what someone has said or done
What sort of time do you call this to come in?
6.) nothing of the sort
spoken especially BrE used to say angrily that something is not true or that someone should not do something
'I'm going to watch TV.' 'You'll do nothing of the sort!'
7.) ¦(PERSON)¦ [singular]
BrE someone who has a particular type of character, and is therefore likely to behave in a particular way
= ↑type
Iain's never even looked at another woman. He's not the sort .
8.) it takes all sorts (to make a world)
BrE used to say that you think someone is behaving in a strange or crazy way
He goes climbing up cliffs without ropes or anything? Oh well, it takes all sorts.
9.) ¦(COMPUTER)¦ [singular]
if a computer does a sort, it puts things in a particular order
out of sorts
feeling a little ill or upset
Louise went back to work feeling rather out of sorts.
sort 2
sort2 S1 v [T]
1.) to put things in a particular order or arrange them in groups according to size, type etc
The eggs are sorted according to size.
sort sth into sth
Let's sort all the clothes into piles.
All the names on the list have been sorted into alphabetical order.
2.) BrE spoken to deal with a situation so that all the problems are solved and everything is organized
Right, I'll leave this for Roger and Terry to sort, then.
sort out [sort sth/sb<=>out] phr v
1.) to arrange or organize something that is mixed up or untidy, so that it is ready to be used
We need to sort out our camping gear before we go away.
2.) to separate one type of thing from another
I've sorted out the papers that can be thrown away.
sort something/somebody<=>out from
First sort the white things out from the other clothes.
3.) especially BrE to successfully deal with a problem or difficult situation
She went to a psychiatrist to try to sort out her problems .
I'll be glad to get this misunderstanding sorted out .
sort yourself out/get yourself sorted out
(=deal with all your problems)
I'm staying with a friend until I manage to sort myself out.
4.) especially BrE to succeed in making arrangements for something
Have you sorted out where you're going to live yet?
She is trying to sort out childcare.
5.) sort itself out
BrE if something sorts itself out, it stops being a problem without you having to do anything
Our financial problems should sort themselves out in a week or two.
6.) BrE informal to stop someone from causing problems or annoying you, especially by attacking or punishing them
If he bothers you again, I'll sort him out.
sort through [sort through sth] phr v
to look for something among a lot of similar things, especially when you are arranging these things into an order
Vicky sat down and sorted through the files.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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