Definition of sort verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    sort

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//sɔːt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//sɔːrt//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they sort
    BrE BrE//sɔːt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//sɔːrt//
     
    he / she / it sorts
    BrE BrE//sɔːts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//sɔːrts//
     
    past simple sorted
    BrE BrE//ˈsɔːtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɔːrtɪd//
     
    past participle sorted
    BrE BrE//ˈsɔːtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɔːrtɪd//
     
    -ing form sorting
    BrE BrE//ˈsɔːtɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɔːrtɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  to arrange things in groups or in a particular order according to their type, etc.; to separate things of one type from others sort something sorting the mail sort something into something The computer sorts the words into alphabetical order. Rubbish can easily be separated and sorted into plastics, glass and paper. sort something from something Women and children sorted the ore from the rock. see also sort somethingout
  2. 2  [often passive] sort something (informal, especially British English) to deal with a problem successfully or organize something/somebody properly I'm really busy—can you sort it? compare sorted
  3. Word Origin late Middle English: from Old French sorte, from an alteration of Latin sors, sort- ‘lot, condition’.Extra examples I sorted the clothes out into two piles. If he can’t get his talk sorted out, we’ll have to ask someone else. Leave them to sort it out among themselves. She started sorting through the papers. She was busily sorting through her clothes. Someone will have to sort this problem out. Sort the books according to their subject matter. The most common way of grouping was to sort the children by ability. We sorted the washing into piles of different garments. Data can be sorted according to its source. Don’t worry. We’ll soon have this sorted. It’s all sorted. It’s our problem. We’ll get it sorted. It’s time you got yourself sorted. The documents were sorted by age and type. The mail is sorted automatically. The program sorts the numbers into ascending order. Waste is sorted for recycling.Idioms
    separate/sort out the men from the boys
     
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    to show or prove who is brave, skilful, etc. and who is not
    sort out/separate the sheep from the goats
     
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    to distinguish people who are good at something, intelligent, etc. from those who are not See related entries: Farm animals
    sort out/separate the wheat from the chaff
     
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    to distinguish useful or valuable people or things from ones that are not useful or have no value We sifted through the application forms to separate the wheat from the chaff. See related entries: Crops
    Phrasal Verbssort itself outsort somethingoutsort somethingout (from something)sort somebody outsort somebodyoutsort through something (for something)
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sort