late 15c., "to distribute into groups or classes," from Old French assorter "to assort, match" (15c., Modern French assortir), from a- "to" (see ad-) + sorte "kind, category," from Latin sortem (nominative sors) "lot; fate, destiny; share, portion; rank, category; sex, class, oracular response, prophecy" (from PIE root *ser- (2) "to line up"). Related: Assorted; assorting.
"consisting of selected kinds arranged in sorts," 1797, past-participle adjective from assort (v.).
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to line up."
It forms all or part of: assert; assertion; assort; consort; desert (v.) "to leave one's duty;" desertion; dissertation; ensorcell; exert; exsert; insert; seriatim; seriation; series; sermon; serried; sorcerer; sorcery; sort.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit sarat- "thread;" Greek eirein "to fasten together in rows;" Latin serere "to join, link, bind together," series "row, chain, series, sequence, succession;" Gothic sarwa (plural) "armor, arms;" Old Norse sörve "necklace of stringed pearls;" Old Irish sernaid "he joins together;" Welsh ystret "a row."