Definition of category in English:



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

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

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