Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, fate, lot, characteristic, from Latin sort-, sors lot, share, category — more at series
Date: 14th century
a. a group set up on the basis of any characteristic in common ; class, kind
b. one approximating the character or qualities of another <a sort of latter-day Abe Lincoln> c. person, individual <he's not a bad sort> 2. archaic group, company 3. a. archaic method or manner of acting ; way, manner b. character, nature <people of an evil sort> 4. a. a letter or character that is one element of a font b. a character or piece of type that is not part of a regular font 5. an instance of sorting <a numeric sort of a data file> Synonyms: see type II. verb Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. a. to put in a certain place or rank according to kind, class, or nature <sort apples> <sort mail> b. to arrange according to characteristics ; classify — usually used with out <sort out colors> 2. chiefly Scottish to put to rights ; put in order 3. a. to examine in order to clarify — used with out <sorting out his problems> b. to free of confusion ; clarify — used with out <waited until things sorted themselves out> intransitive verb 1. to join or associate with others especially of the same kind <sort with thieves> 2. agree, harmonize <his benign view sorts badly with reality — Henry Trewhitt> 3. search <sort through some old papers> • sortable adjective • sorter noun
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.