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Phrases

This thesaurus also includes phrases that, taken as a whole, are synonymous with individual words. Within this category are some words that are commonly used in combination with one another but are not necessarily included as entry words in most dictionaries. Some of these fixed phrases represent virtually the only way in which the word is used in contemporary English. For example, in jeopardy appears as a synonymous phrase at liable because a person exposed to something dangerous or undesirable is a person in jeopardy. The word jeopardy is generally only used in the phrase in jeopardy.

Idioms constitute the other major class of word combinations that are entered under the heading of Phrases. Idioms are phrases that have a special meaning that is different from the literal meaning that a person would get if adding together the individual meanings of the components of the phrase. For example, the phrase make good is virtually meaningless if one attempts to piece together the literal meanings of make and good. As a fixed phrase, however, make good means "to reach a desired level of accomplishment" and is a synonym of succeed.

What this thesaurus does not enter are phrases that are simple restatements of the basic meaning shared by the members of the synonym group. The verb remark, for example, might be defined as "to express as an opinion." Such rewordings of a basic definition have no place in a thesaurus because they contribute nothing useful to the user's vocabulary.

In this thesaurus, phrases are listed in alphabetical order at some of the main entries. Since phrases are not entered as headwords in the thesaurus, they do not come with verbal illustrations. It's a good idea to look them up in a dictionary before considering them.