Meaning of CATEGORY in English


I. ˈkad.əˌgōrē, -atə-, -ȯr-, -ri noun

( -es )

Etymology: Late Latin categoria, from Greek katēgoria, from katēgorein to accuse, affirm, predicate, from kata- cata- + -agorein to speak publicly, from agora assembly — more at gregarious

1. : one of the most abstract and universal terms, concepts, or notions:

a. in Aristotle

(1) : one of the major forms of predication

(2) : one of the most ultimate modes of being (as substance, quantity, quality, relation, place, time, position, possession, action, affection)

b. in Kant : one of the pure a priori forms of the understanding

the category of quantity (unity, plurality, universality)

the category of quality (relation, negation, limitation)

the category of relation (substantiality, causality, reciprocity)

the category of modality (possibility, actuality, necessity)

c. in post-Kantian philosophy : any major fundamental conception or general class of concepts

categories — that is, controlling conceptions of inquiry — John Dewey

2. : a class, group, or classification of any kind: as

a. : one of several groupings of related soils in the international classification developed by the United States Department of Agriculture

b. : a division of the dependent population whose needs are attended to by specific government measures

the aged, the blind, dependent children are in separate relief categories

3. categories noun plural but singular in construction : a game in which the players decide on a keyword and a list of categories (as cities, animals, tools) and then try within a time limit to fill in under each letter of the keyword a name beginning with that letter to fit each category — called also guggenheim

Synonyms: see class

II. noun

: a mathematical class of objects (as groups or topological spaces) together with a set of structure-preserving mappings (as homomorphisms or continuous functions) between the members of the class such that the operation of applying one mapping after another to produce a single combined mapping is associative and the set of mappings includes an identity element

• categorical adjective

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.