Search more than 275,000 synonyms, antonyms, related words, and idiomatic phrases. The thesaurus is more than just a list of synonyms; it is your guide to more precise and effective use of language.the·sau·rus | \ thi-ˈsȯr-əs
\plural thesauri\ thi-ˈsȯr-ˌī
, -ˌē \ or thesauruses\ thi-ˈsȯr-ə-səz
1a : a book of words or of information about a particular field or set of concepts especially : a book of words and their synonyms
b : a list of subject headings or descriptors usually with a cross-reference system for use in the organization of a collection of documents for reference and retrieval
Other Words from thesaurusthesaural \ thi-ˈsȯr-əl
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In the early 19th century, archaeologists borrowed the Latin word thesaurus to denote an ancient treasury, such as that in a temple. Soon after, the word was metaphorically applied to a book containing a treasury of words or information about a particular field. In 1852, the English scholar Peter Mark Roget published his Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases, in which he listed a treasury of semantically related words organized into numerous categories. This work led to the common acceptance of the term thesaurus to refer to "a book of words and their synonyms." The word developed another meaning in the 1950s, when thesaurus began being used in the field of word processing to refer to a list of related terms used for indexing and retrieval.
Examples of thesaurus in a Sentence
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First Known Use of thesaurus
circa 1823, in the meaning defined at sense 2
History and Etymology for thesaurus
New Latin, from Latin, treasure, collection, from Greek thēsauros
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Cite this Entry
Thesaurus. Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/thesaurus. Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.MLA
the·sau·rus | \ thi-ˈsȯr-əs
plural thesauri\ -ˈsȯr-ˌī , -ˌē \ or thesauruses\ -ˈsȯr-ə-səz \
: a book of words and their synonyms