Definition of category in English:



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

    ‘the various categories of research’
    • ‘They have won the competition once and frequently finished in the top five in the residential category.’
    • ‘The classification has five broad categories, the focus of this trend analysis.’
    • ‘There were five categories in the competition, which was open to both mainstream and special schools.’
    • ‘The two main categories of positive incentives are price guarantees and mileage bonuses.’
    • ‘After reviewing scores of nominations, our panel of judges selected two finalists in each of five categories.’
    • ‘The objections to the licence fell into four main categories, the committee was told.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Analysis continued until no new major information on the characteristics of the category was forthcoming.’
    • ‘Only criminals who belong to any of these five categories will have the chance to be punished by community correction.’
    • ‘Essentially, the problems that the prostate gland can develop can be divided into two main categories.’
    • ‘It turns out that a large proportion of the abilities fall under the category of emotional intelligence.’
    • ‘Plus, a category five hurricane is bearing down on the Gulf Coast of the United States.’
    • ‘Honours are up for grabs in five categories - including a Top Tutor award.’
    • ‘Code orange is the second highest of the five alert categories.’
    • ‘For purposes of classification they could be divided into five broad categories.’
    • ‘All the main tax categories increased with income and corporation tax showing particularly strong surges.’
    • ‘The Act on Wine now distinguishes five categories of quality wines.’
    • ‘The main categories of rum are white, golden, dark, spiced and anejo, or aged rum.’
    • ‘The most widely used algorithms can be grouped into five main categories, as shown in Table 1.’
    class, classification, categorization, group, grouping, bracket, head, heading, list, listing, set
    type, sort, kind, variety, species, genre, breed, style, brand, make, model, family, stamp, cast, ilk, kidney
    grade, grading, order, rank, status
    division, section, department, compartment, pigeonhole
    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. 2.1Each of the a priori conceptions applied by the mind to sense impressions.
      • ‘So, for example, the category of substance is interpreted in terms of permanence.’
      • ‘The categories may be interpreted as ten different ways in which a predicate may be related to its subject.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘These fundamental categories are a priori, that is, they exist prior to experience.’


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