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.”

Definitions of classify
  1. verb
    arrange or order by classes or categories
    “How would you classify these pottery shards--are they prehistoric?”
    synonyms: assort, class, separate, sort, sort out
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    unitise, unitize
    separate or classify into units
    catalog, catalogue
    make an itemized list or catalog of; classify
    separate (experiences) from the emotions relating to them
    think of, regard, or classify under a subsuming principle or with a general group or in relation to another
    classify anew, change the previous classification
    sort according to size
    dichotomise, dichotomize
    divide into two opposing groups or kinds
    pigeonhole, stamp, stereotype
    treat or classify according to a mental stereotype
    arrange into a group or groups
    determine the grade of or assign a grade to
    count, number
    put into a group
    reorganize into new groups
    classify or group
    chunk, collocate, lump
    group or chunk together in a certain order or place side by side
    batch together; assemble or process as a batch
    type of:
    categorise, categorize
    place into or assign to a category
  2. verb
    assign to a class or kind
    “How should algae be classified?”
    synonyms: relegate
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    type of:
    assign, attribute
    decide as to where something belongs in a scheme
  3. verb
    declare unavailable, as for security reasons
    Classify these documents”
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    lift the restriction on and make available again
    type of:
    place under restrictions; limit access to
Word Family

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