This is documentation for Mathematica 6, which was
based on an earlier version of the Wolfram Language.
View current documentation (Version 11.2)


sorts the elements of list into canonical order.
Sort[list, p]
sorts using the ordering function p.
  • Sort by default orders integers, rational and approximate real numbers by their numerical values.
  • Sort orders complex numbers by their real parts, and in the event of a tie, by the absolute values of their imaginary parts.
  • Sort orders symbols by their names, and in the event of a tie, by their contexts.
  • Sort usually orders expressions by putting shorter ones first, and then comparing parts in a depth-first manner.
  • Sort treats powers and products specially, ordering them to correspond to terms in a polynomial.
  • Sort orders strings as in a dictionary, with upper-case versions of letters coming after lower-case ones. Sort places ordinary letters appear first, followed in order by script, Gothic, double-struck, Greek and Hebrew. Mathematical operators appear in order of decreasing precedence.
  • Sort[list, p] applies the function p to pairs of elements in list to determine whether they are in order. The default function p is OrderedQ[{#1, #2}]&.
  • Sort can be used on expressions with any head, not only List.
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