A category is a group of things that share some commonality. Think of the game show "Jeopardy!," and how each column is a different category of questions — like "Literary Characters" or "Potent Potables."

The noun category has the sense of ordering or sorting. In Biology, the science of taxonomy is all about categorizing all living organisms. It might be an easier task to categorize books in a library according to genre (e.g., fiction, non-fiction, mysteries, etc.) or to categorize the shoes in your closet according to season.

Definitions of category

n a general concept that marks divisions or coordinations in a conceptual scheme

show 20 types...
hide 20 types...
form, kind, sort, variety
a category of things distinguished by some common characteristic or quality
a specific (often simplistic) category
category name
a general category of things; used in the expression `in the way of'
sort or variety
a subdivision of a particular kind of thing
an opposite or contrasting type
art form
(architecture) a form of artistic expression (such as writing or painting or architecture)
a particular kind (as to appearance)
flavor, flavour
(physics) the six kinds of quarks
color, colour
(physics) the characteristic of quarks that determines their role in the strong interaction
a specific kind of something
a general kind of something
brand, make
a recognizable kind
a kind of literary or artistic work
ilk, like
a kind of person
a kind
a type of product
a kind or category
like, the like, the likes of
a similar kind
Type of:
concept, conception, construct
an abstract or general idea inferred or derived from specific instances

n a collection of things sharing a common attribute

class, family
show 18 types...
hide 18 types...
grammatical category, syntactic category
(grammar) a category of words having the same grammatical properties
paradigm, substitution class
the class of all items that can be substituted into the same position (or slot) in a grammatical sentence (are in paradigmatic relation with one another)
brass family
(music) the family of brass instruments
violin family
(music) the family of bowed stringed instruments
woodwind family
(music) the family of woodwind instruments
a type or class
either of the two categories (male or female) into which most organisms are divided
a class of nouns or pronouns or adjectives in Indo-European languages having the same (or very similar) inflectional forms
a class of verbs having the same inflectional forms
a class of one kind of unit in a system of numbers or measures or weights or money
histocompatibility complex
a family of fifty or more genes on the sixth human chromosome that code for proteins on the surfaces of cells and that play a role in the immune response
case, grammatical case
nouns or pronouns or adjectives (often marked by inflection) related in some way to other words in a sentence
form class, part of speech, word class
one of the traditional categories of words intended to reflect their functions in a grammatical context
the grammatical category for the forms of nouns and pronouns and verbs that are used depending on the number of entities involved (singular or dual or plural)
a grammatical category used in the classification of pronouns, possessive determiners, and verb forms according to whether they indicate the speaker, the addressee, or a third party
gender, grammatical gender
a grammatical category in inflected languages governing the agreement between nouns and pronouns and adjectives; in some languages it is quite arbitrary but in Indo-European languages it is usually based on sex or animateness
a grammatical category of verbs used to express distinctions of time
participant role, semantic role
(linguistics) the underlying relation that a constituent has with the main verb in a clause
Type of:
accumulation, aggregation, assemblage, collection
several things grouped together or considered as a whole

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.