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a particular kind, species, variety, class, or group, distinguished by a common character or nature:
to develop a new sort of painting; nice people, of course, but not really our sort.
character, quality, or nature:
young people of a nice sort.
an example of something that is undistinguished or barely adequate:
He is a sort of poet.
manner, fashion, or way:
We spoke in this sort for several minutes.

any of the individual characters making up a font of type.
characters of a particular font that are rarely used.

an instance of sorting.
verb (used with object)
to arrange according to sort, kind, or class; separate into sorts; classify:
to sort socks; to sort eggs by grade.
to separate or take from other sorts or from others (often followed by out):
to sort the good from the bad; to sort out the children’s socks.
to assign to a particular class, group, or place (often followed by with, together, etc.):
to sort people together indiscriminately.
Scot. to provide with food and shelter.
Computers. to place (records) in order, as numerical or alphabetical, based on the contents of one or more keys contained in each record.
Compare key1 (def 19).
verb (used without object)
Archaic. to suit; agree; fit.
British Dialect. to associate, mingle, or be friendly.
Verb phrases
sort out,

evolve; develop; turn out:
We’ll just have to wait and see how things sort out.
to put in order; clarify:
After I sort things out here, I’ll be able to concentrate on your problem.

of sorts,

of a mediocre or poor kind:
a tennis player of sorts.
of one sort or another; of an indefinite kind.

Also, of a sort.
out of sorts,

in low spirits; depressed.
in poor health; indisposed; ill.
in a bad temper; irritable:
to be out of sorts because of the weather.
Printing. short of certain characters of a font of type.

sort of, Informal. in a way; somewhat; rather:
Their conversation was sort of tiresome.
a class, group, kind, etc, as distinguished by some common quality or characteristic
(informal) type of character, nature, etc: he’s a good sort
a more or less definable or adequate example: it’s a sort of review
(often pl) (printing) any of the individual characters making up a fount of type
(archaic) manner; way: in this sort we struggled home
after a sort, to some extent
of sorts, of a sort

of an inferior kind
of an indefinite kind

out of sorts, not in normal good health, temper, etc
(informal) sort of

(adverb) in some way or other; as it were; rather
(sentence substitute) used to express reservation or qualified assent: I’m only joking. Sort of

(transitive) to arrange according to class, type, etc
(transitive) to put (something) into working order
(transitive) to arrange (computer information) by machine in an order convenient to the computer user
(informal) (transitive) foll by with. to supply, esp with drugs
(intransitive; foll by with, together, etc) (archaic or dialect) to associate, as on friendly terms
(intransitive) (archaic) to agree; accord

1. To arrange a collection of items in some specified order. The items – records in a file or data structures in memory – consist of one or more fields or members. One of these fields is designated as the “sort key” which means the records will be ordered according to the value of that field. Sometimes a sequence of key fields is specified such that if all earlier keys are equal then the later keys will be compared. Within each field some ordering is imposed, e.g. ascending or descending numerical, lexical ordering, or date.
Sorting is the subject of a great deal of study since it is a common operation which can consume a lot of computer time. There are many well-known sorting algorithms with different time and space behaviour and programming complexity.
Examples are quicksort, insertion sort, bubble sort, heap sort, and tree sort. These employ many different data structures to store sorted data, such as arrays, linked lists, and binary trees.
2. The Unix utility program for sorting lines of files.
Unix manual page: sort(1).


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