To run upon sorts
Sort Sort, n. [F. sorie (cf. It. sorta, sorte), from L. sors, sorti, a lot, part, probably akin to serere to connect. See {Series}, and cf. {Assort}, {Consort}, {Resort}, {Sorcery}, {Sort} lot.] 1. A kind or species; any number or collection of individual persons or things characterized by the same or like qualities; a class or order; as, a sort of men; a sort of horses; a sort of trees; a sort of poems. [1913 Webster]

2. Manner; form of being or acting. [1913 Webster]

Which for my part I covet to perform, In sort as through the world I did proclaim. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

Flowers, in such sort worn, can neither be smelt nor seen well by those that wear them. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

I'll deceive you in another sort. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

To Adam in what sort Shall I appear? --Milton. [1913 Webster]

I shall not be wholly without praise, if in some sort I have copied his style. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

3. Condition above the vulgar; rank. [Obs.] --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. A chance group; a company of persons who happen to be together; a troop; also, an assemblage of animals. [Obs.] ``A sort of shepherds.'' --Spenser. ``A sort of steers.'' --Spenser. ``A sort of doves.'' --Dryden. ``A sort of rogues.'' --Massinger. [1913 Webster]

A boy, a child, and we a sort of us, Vowed against his voyage. --Chapman. [1913 Webster]

5. A pair; a set; a suit. --Johnson. [1913 Webster]

6. pl. (Print.) Letters, figures, points, marks, spaces, or quadrats, belonging to a case, separately considered. [1913 Webster]

{Out of sorts} (Print.), with some letters or sorts of type deficient or exhausted in the case or font; hence, colloquially, out of order; ill; vexed; disturbed.

{To run upon sorts} (Print.), to use or require a greater number of some particular letters, figures, or marks than the regular proportion, as, for example, in making an index. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Kind; species; rank; condition.

Usage: {Sort}, {Kind}. Kind originally denoted things of the same family, or bound together by some natural affinity; and hence, a class. Sort signifies that which constitutes a particular lot of parcel, not implying necessarily the idea of affinity, but of mere assemblage. the two words are now used to a great extent interchangeably, though sort (perhaps from its original meaning of lot) sometimes carries with it a slight tone of disparagement or contempt, as when we say, that sort of people, that sort of language. [1913 Webster]

As when the total kind Of birds, in orderly array on wing, Came summoned over Eden to receive Their names of there. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

None of noble sort Would so offend a virgin. --Shak. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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