sort of

See also: sort-of


Alternative formsEdit


From a reanalysis of "sort of" in a phrase such as "a sort of merry dance" from noun ("sort") and preposition ("of") from the prepositional phrase "of merry dance" to adverb modifying "merry".


  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈsɔɹt əv/, [ˈsɔɹɾəv]
  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈsɔːt əv/, [ˈsɔːt əv], [ˈsɔːʔ əv], [ˈsətəv]
  • (file)


sort of (not comparable)

  1. (idiomatic, colloquial)  Approximately; in a way; partially; not quite; somewhat.
    • 1916 March 11, Charles E. Van Loan, “His Folks”, in Saturday Evening Post[1]:
      "Why—why, we sort of expected he'd be here!" says she.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 19, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      Nothing was too small to receive attention, if a supervising eye could suggest improvements likely to conduce to the common welfare. Mr. Gordon Burnage, for instance, personally visited dust-bins and back premises, accompanied by a sort of village bailiff, going his round like a commanding officer doing billets.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess[2]:
      ‘I understand that the district was considered a sort of sanctuary,’ the Chief was saying. ‘An Alsatia like the ancient one behind the Strand, or the Saffron Hill before the First World War. […]’
    It sort of makes sense the way he explains it, but I still don't really understand.



See alsoEdit