classify

Humans seem to have the need to classify things, arranging them into different classes by such unifying traits as size, color, or shape. It’s fine to do this to inanimate objects, but doing it to people can be very wrong.

The word classify contains the base word class, which means "category" and comes from the Latin classis, which actually referred to an army or group called to arms. It eventually came to mean "a group," and thus classify means "to group." As a security measure, you can also classify information that is not to be shared. Writer Ambrose Bierce once said, “The small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify we give the name of knowledge.”

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: classify

1
v
arrange or order by classes or categories
2
v
declare unavailable, as for security reasons
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: classify
1

v arrange or order by classes or categories

“How would you classify these pottery shards--are they prehistoric?”
Synonyms:
assort, class, separate, sort, sort out
Types:
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unitise, unitize
separate or classify into units
catalog, catalogue
make an itemized list or catalog of; classify
isolate
separate (experiences) from the emotions relating to them
refer
think of, regard, or classify under a subsuming principle or with a general group or in relation to another
reclassify
classify anew, change the previous classification
size
sort according to size
dichotomise, dichotomize
divide into two opposing groups or kinds
pigeonhole, stamp, stereotype
treat or classify according to a mental stereotype
group
arrange into a group or groups
grade
determine the grade of or assign a grade to
count, number
put into a group
regroup
reorganize into new groups
bracket
classify or group
chunk, collocate, lump
group or chunk together in a certain order or place side by side
batch
batch together; assemble or process as a batch
Type of:
categorise, categorize
place into or assign to a category

v assign to a class or kind

“How should algae be classified?”
Synonyms:
relegate
Type of:
assign, attribute
decide as to where something belongs in a scheme
2

v declare unavailable, as for security reasons

Classify these documents”
Antonyms:
declassify
lift the restriction on and make available again
Type of:
restrict
place under restrictions; limit access to
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