Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

sort out

 - definition

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb [transitive]
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theysort out
he/she/itsorts out
present participlesorting out
past tensesorted out
past participlesorted out

Related dictionary definitions

  1. 1
    to do what is necessary to deal with a problem, disagreement, or difficult situation successfully

    This matter could be sorted out if they would just sit down and talk.

    sort yourself out:

    If you have a problem, the welfare officer can help you sort yourself out.

  2. 2
    to get rid of things that you do not need and arrange things that you do need neatly

    I need to sort out the mess on my desk.

    I've managed to sort the newspapers out.

  3. 3
    to find out information that allows you to understand something
    sort out how/what/why etc.:

    Investigators are still trying to sort out why the accident happened.

  4. 4
    British to make arrangements for something to happen, or to decide how it will happen

    Danny's organizing the food and the music's already sorted out.

  5. 5
    British informal to provide something for someone
    sort someone out:

    If you need a new bike, I can sort you out.

    sort something out for someone:

    We'll sort out more suitable clothes for you.

See also main entry: sort


a paid holiday given to a new employee before they start their job

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

selfie stick

an expandable stick which you attach to a mobile phone or camera to help you take a selfie …

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog