Skip to main content
Select Source:

THESAURUS

THESAURUS [Plurals: traditionally thesauri, more recently and less formally thesauruses].
1. A work of REFERENCE presented as a treasure house (Greek thēsaurós) of information about words, such as Thomas Cooper's bilingual dictionary, the Thesaurus Linguae Romanae et Britannicae (‘Thesaurus of the Roman and British Languages’, 1565).

2. A work of reference containing lists of associated, usually undefined, words (such as synonyms) arranged thematically, in the style of ROGET's THESAURUS of English Words and Phrases (1852).

3. A work of reference containing such lists but presented alphabetically, such as The New Roget's Thesaurus in Dictionary Form ( Putnam's, 1961) and The Oxford Thesaurus (1991).

4. In information technology, an alphabetic index list of key terms, through which information of a specialist nature can be retrieved from a database.

5. In word processing, a stored list of synonyms and antonyms, to be consulted in the preparation of texts, and provided as a service comparable to a spelling checker.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"THESAURUS." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"THESAURUS." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/thesaurus

"THESAURUS." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/thesaurus

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

thesaurus

thesaurus A feature of word processing systems whereby similes and synonyms may be displayed on screen and incorporated into the text. Full text retrieval systems may have thesaurus searching as an option whereby terms similar in meaning to those sought will also be located. A thesaurus can be used to define a set of allowed terms for use as keywords during the entry of data into text retrieval systems.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"thesaurus." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"thesaurus." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/computing/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/thesaurus

"thesaurus." A Dictionary of Computing. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/computing/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/thesaurus

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

thesaurus

thesaurus originally, a dictionary or encyclopedia; after the publication of Roget's Thesaurus, the meaning narrowed to its current sense of a book that lists words in groups of synonyms and related concepts. Recorded in English from the late 16th century, the word comes via Latin from Greek thēsauros ‘storehouse, treasure’.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"thesaurus." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"thesaurus." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/thesaurus

"thesaurus." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/thesaurus

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

thesaurus

the·sau·rus / [unvoicedth]əˈsôrəs/ • n. (pl. -sau·ri / -ˈsôrī/ or -sau·rus·es ) a book that lists words in groups of synonyms and related concepts. ∎ archaic a dictionary or encyclopedia.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"thesaurus." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"thesaurus." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/thesaurus-1

"thesaurus." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/thesaurus-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

thesaurus

thesaurus treasury, spec. of knowledge. XIX. — L. thēsaurus TREASURE — Gr. thēsaurós.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"thesaurus." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"thesaurus." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/thesaurus-2

"thesaurus." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/thesaurus-2

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Thesaurus

Thesaurus

a treasury or storehouse, 1491; a repository, as of words, hence, Rogets Thesaurus, 1852.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Thesaurus." Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Thesaurus." Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/thesaurus

"Thesaurus." Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/thesaurus

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

thesaurus

thesaurusArras, embarrass, harass •gynandrous, polyandrous •Pancras • charas • Tatras • disastrous •ferrous • leprous • ambidextrous •Carreras, mayoress •scabrous •cirrus, Pyrrhus •chivalrous •citrous, citrus •ludicrous • tenebrous •Cyrus, Epirus, papyrus, virus •fibrous • hydrous • Cyprus •retrovirus • monstrous •brachiosaurus, brontosaurus, canorous, chorus, Epidaurus, Horus, megalosaurus, pelorus, porous, sorus, stegosaurus, Taurus, thesaurus, torus, tyrannosaurus •walrus •ochrous (US ocherous) •cumbrous • wondrous • lustrous •Algeciras, Severus •desirous •Arcturus, Epicurus, Honduras •barbarous • tuberous • slumberous •Cerberus • rapturous •lecherous, treacherous •torturous • vulturous • Pandarus •slanderous • ponderous •malodorous, odorous •thunderous • murderous •carboniferous, coniferous, cruciferous, melliferous, odoriferous, pestiferous, somniferous, splendiferous, umbelliferous, vociferous •phosphorous, phosphorus •sulphurous (US sulfurous) •Anaxagoras, Pythagorasclangorous, languorous •rigorous, vigorous •dangerous • verdurous •cankerous, cantankerous, rancorous •decorous • Icarus • valorous •dolorous • idolatrous •amorous, clamorous, glamorous •timorous •humerus, humorous, numerous •murmurous • generous • sonorous •onerous • obstreperous • Hesperus •vaporous • viviparous • viperous •Bosporus, prosperous •stuporous • cancerous •Monoceros, rhinoceros •sorcerous • adventurous • Tartarus •nectarous • dexterous • traitorous •preposterous • slaughterous •boisterous, roisterous •uterus • adulterous • stertorous •cadaverous • feverous •carnivorous, herbivorous, insectivorous, omnivorous •Lazarus

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"thesaurus." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"thesaurus." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/thesaurus-0

"thesaurus." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/thesaurus-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.