Type, kind, sort, stripe, kidney, ilk, description, nature, character are comparable when they denote a number of individuals thought of as a group or class because of one or more shared and distinctive characteristics.
Type may suggest strong, clearly marked, or obvious similarities throughout the items included so that the distinctiveness of the group that they form cannot be overlooked.
Kind in most uses is likely to be very indefinite and involve any criterion of classification whatever, but it may suggest criteria of grouping dependent natural, intrinsic characteristics.
Sort is often a close synonym of kind <the sort of culture I am trying to define —Powys > and may be used in situations having a suggestion of disparagement.
Type , kind , and sort are usually interchangeable and are used most of the time without attention to special connotations.
Stripe and kidney are used mostly of people rather than things; the first may suggest political attitude or affiliation, the second persuasion, disposition, or social level.
Ilk may suggest grouping on the basis of status, attitude, or temperament.
Description , nature , and character are close synonyms of type and kind mostly in phrases beginning with of .
Description may suggest a grouping in which all salient details of description or definition are involved; nature may suggest inherent, essential characteristics rather than superficial, ostensible, or tentative ones; and character may stress distinctive or individualizing criteria.