Thesaurus

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Thesaurus'

Thesaurus Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    thesaurus n : a book containing a classified list of synonyms [syn: synonym finder}] [also: thesauri (pl)]
Thesaurus Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Thesaurus \The*sau"rus\, n.; pl. Thesauri. [L. See Treasure.] A treasury or storehouse; hence, a repository, especially of knowledge; -- often applied to a comprehensive work, like a dictionary or cyclopedia.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Thesaurus'


A thesaurus is a reference work that lists words grouped together according to similarity of meaning (containing synonyms and sometimes antonyms), in contrast to a dictionary, which contains definitions and pronunciations. The largest thesaurus in the world is the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary, which contains more than 920,000 words.

In antiquity, Philo of Byblos authored the first text that could now be called a thesaurus. In Sanskrit, the Amarakosha is a thesaurus in verse form, written in the 4th century. The first example of the modern genre, Roget's Thesaurus, was compiled in 1805 by Peter Mark Roget, and published in 1852. Entries in Roget's Thesaurus are listed conceptually rather than alphabetically.

Although including synonyms, a thesaurus should not be taken as a complete list of all the synonyms for a particular word. The entries are also designed for drawing distinctions between similar words and assisting in choosing exactly the right word. Unlike a dictionary, a thesaurus entry does not define words.

[See more about Thesaurus at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]

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