American English

Definition of sort noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a group or type of people or things that are similar in a particular way synonym kind What sort of music do you like?” “Oh,all sorts.” This sort of problem is quite common./These sorts of problems are quite common. He's the sort of person who only cares about money. For dessert there's a fruit pie of some sort (= you are not sure what kind). Most people went on training courses of one sort or another (= of various types) last year. (informal) There were snacks—peanuts, olives,that sort of thing. (informal) There are all sorts of activities (= many different ones) for kids at the campsite. (informal) What sort of price did you want to pay? (= approximately how much) Grammarkind / type / sortUse the singular (kind/type/sort) or plural (kinds/types/sorts) depending on the word you use before them:each/one/every kind of animal all/many/other types of animalsKind/type/sort of is followed by a singular or uncountable noun:This type of question often appears on the test. That sort of behavior is not acceptable.Kinds/types/sorts of is followed by a plural or uncountable noun:These types of questions often appear on the test. These sorts of behavior are not acceptable.Other variations are possible in spoken English, but are less common, and are considered incorrect in formal written English:These types of question often appear on the test. These kind of things don’t happen in real life.Note also that these examples are possible, especially in spoken English:The shelf was full of the sort of books I like to read. He faced the same kind of problems as his predecessor. There are many different types of animal on the island. What kind of camera is this? What kind/kinds of cameras do you sell? There were three kinds of cakes/cake on the plate.
  2. 2[countable, usually singular] (informal) a particular type of person My brother would never lie to his wife; he's not that sort.
  3. 3(computing) [singular] the process of putting data in a particular order to do a sort
  4. Idioms
    it takes all sorts (to make a world) (saying)
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    used to say that you think someone's behavior is very strange or unusual but that everyone is different and likes different things “They spent their honeymoon mountain climbing.” “Oh well, it takes all sorts!”
    nothing of the kind/sort
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    used to emphasize that the situation is very different from what has been said “I was terrible!” “You were nothing of the kind.”
    of sorts (informal)
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    used when you are saying that something is not a good example of a particular type of thing He offered us an apology of sorts.
    out of sorts
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    sick or upset She was tired and out of sorts by the time she arrived home. Are you feeling all right? You look a little out of sorts.
    sort of (informal)
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    to some extent but in a way that you cannot easily describe She sort of pretends that she doesn't really care. “Do you understand?” “Sort of.”
    a sort of something (informal)
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    used for describing something in a not very exact way I had a sort of feeling that he wouldn't come. They're a sort of greenish-blue color.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: sort