Borrowed from Middle Frenchcategorie, from Late Latincatēgoria(“class of predicables”), from Ancient Greekκατηγορία(katēgoría, “head of predicables”).
(General American) IPA(key): /ˈkætəˌɡɔɹi/
(Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈkætɪɡ(ə)ɹi/
A group, often named or numbered, to which items are assigned based on similarity or defined criteria.
The traditional way of describing the similarities and differences between constituents is to say that they belong to categories of various types. Thus, words like boy, girl, man, woman, etc. are traditionally said to belong to the category of Nouns, whereas words like a, the, this, and that are traditionally said to belong to the category of Determiners.
(mathematics) 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.
(group to which items are assigned):class, family, genus, group, kingdom, order, phylum, race, tribe, type
See also Thesaurus:class
3.2. Further reading
category in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
category in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911