Definition of category in English:



  • 1A class or division of people or things regarded as having particular shared characteristics.

    ‘the various categories of research’
    • ‘All the main tax categories increased with income and corporation tax showing particularly strong surges.’
    • ‘The two main categories of positive incentives are price guarantees and mileage bonuses.’
    • ‘The main categories of rum are white, golden, dark, spiced and anejo, or aged rum.’
    • ‘Plus, a category five hurricane is bearing down on the Gulf Coast of the United States.’
    • ‘The Act on Wine now distinguishes five categories of quality wines.’
    • ‘Honours are up for grabs in five categories - including a Top Tutor award.’
    • ‘The classification has five broad categories, the focus of this trend analysis.’
    • ‘For purposes of classification they could be divided into five broad categories.’
    • ‘Analysis continued until no new major information on the characteristics of the category was forthcoming.’
    • ‘The award is one of the five People's Choice categories voted for by the general public.’
    • ‘Essentially, the problems that the prostate gland can develop can be divided into two main categories.’
    • ‘The objections to the licence fell into four main categories, the committee was told.’
    • ‘They have won the competition once and frequently finished in the top five in the residential category.’
    • ‘There were five categories in the competition, which was open to both mainstream and special schools.’
    • ‘There are also separate age group categories usually in five or ten-year bands.’
    • ‘The most widely used algorithms can be grouped into five main categories, as shown in Table 1.’
    • ‘After reviewing scores of nominations, our panel of judges selected two finalists in each of five categories.’
    • ‘It turns out that a large proportion of the abilities fall under the category of emotional intelligence.’
    • ‘Code orange is the second highest of the five alert categories.’
    • ‘Only criminals who belong to any of these five categories will have the chance to be punished by community correction.’
    class, classification, categorization, group, grouping, bracket, head, heading, list, listing, set
    View synonyms
  • 2Philosophy
    Each of a possibly exhaustive set of classes among which all things might be distributed.

    • ‘In outlining the category of substance, we have already referred to examples of the second category listed, quality.’
    • ‘Kant believed that he had arrived at his list of categories by a process of abstraction.’
    1. 2.1 Each of the a priori conceptions applied by the mind to sense impressions.
      • ‘Kant's categories apply only to the objects of possible experience, and these are appearances.’
      • ‘Kantian categories of thought which we use to make sense of the world are those possessing this property, which we shall term reciprocity.’
      • ‘The categories may be interpreted as ten different ways in which a predicate may be related to its subject.’
      • ‘So, for example, the category of substance is interpreted in terms of permanence.’
      • ‘These fundamental categories are a priori, that is, they exist prior to experience.’


Late Middle English (in category (sense 2)): from French catégorie or late Latin categoria, from Greek katēgoria ‘statement, accusation’, from katēgoros ‘accuser’.