Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: sorte, from Latin sors 'chance, what you get by luck, share, condition'


1 noun
sort1 S1 W1


[countable] a group or class of people, things etc that have similar qualities or features [= type, kind]
sort of
What sort of shampoo do you use?
all sorts (of something) (=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 something (=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 note type1

sort of

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.

sort of price/time/speed etc

especially British English 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?

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.

sort of thing

spoken especially British English 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.

what sort of ...?

spoken especially British English used when you are angry about what someone has said or done:
What sort of time do you call this to come in?

nothing of the sort

spoken especially British English 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!'


[singular] British English 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.

it takes all sorts (to make a world)

British English 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.


[singular]TD 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.

type, kind, sort
Type, kind, and sort all have the same meaning and can be used in the same situations What type of car do you drive? an interesting kind of plant a new sort of mobile phone If you are saying that something is partly true or are not being exact, use sort of or kind of rather than type of It's a sort of oval shape.GRAMMARType, kind, and sort are countable nouns, and they must be plural after determiners with plural meanings:this type/kind/sort of + singular noun I don't like this type of thing. This kind of mistake is easy to make. Red wine goes well with this sort of dish.these/those types/kinds/sorts of + plural/singular noun How common are these types of illness(es)? Those kinds of colours look good with dark skin.!! Remember to use the plural types/kinds/sorts after all, both, certain, different, many, several, various etc movies that appeal to certain kinds of people (NOT certain kind of people) Many sorts of jobs require computing skills (NOT many sort of jobs).See also type

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