Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A specifically defined division in a system of classification; a class.
  • n. A general class of ideas, terms, or things that mark divisions or coordinations within a conceptual scheme, especially:
  • n. Aristotle's modes of objective being, such as quality, quantity, or relation, that are inherent in everything.
  • n. Kant's modes of subjective understanding, such as singularity, universality, or particularity, that organize perceptions into knowledge.
  • n. A basic logical type of philosophical conception in post-Kantian philosophy.
  • n. Linguistics A classificatory structural unit or property of a language, such as a part of speech, verb phrase, or object.
  • n. Linguistics A specific grammatical defining property of a linguistic unit or class, such as number or gender in the noun and tense or voice in the verb.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A group, often named or numbered, to which items are assigned based on similarity or defined criteria.
  • n. A collection of objects, together with a transitively closed collection of composable arrows between them, such that every object has an identity arrow, and such that arrow composition is associative.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of the highest classes to which the objects of knowledge or thought can be reduced, and by which they can be arranged in a system; an ultimate or undecomposable conception; a predicament.
  • n. Class; also, state, condition, or predicament.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In logic, a highest notion, especially one derived from the logical analysis of the forms of proposition.
  • n. A summum genus, or widest class.
  • n. Any very wide and distinctive class; any comprehensive division or class of persons or things.
  • n.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a general concept that marks divisions or coordinations in a conceptual scheme
  • n. a collection of things sharing a common attribute

Etymologies

French catégorie, from Old French, from Late Latin catēgoria, class of predicables, from Greek katēgoriā, accusation, charge, from katēgorein, to accuse, predicate : kat-, kata-, down, against; see cata- + agoreuein, ēgor-, to speak in public (from agorā, marketplace, assembly.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French categorie, from Late Latin categoria ("class of predicables"), from Ancient Greek κατηγορία (kategoria, "head of predicables"). (Wiktionary)

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