Definition of thesaurus
thesauriplay \-ˈsȯr-ˌī, -ˌē\ or
1a : a book of words or of information about a particular field or set of concepts; especially : a book of words and their synonymsb : 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
thesauralplay \-ˈsȯr-əl\ adjective
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Did You Know?
In the early 19th century, archaeologists borrowed the Latin word thesaurus to denote an ancient treasury, such as that of 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 related words organized into numerous categories. This work led to the common acceptance of the term "thesaurus" for "a book of words and their synonyms." Finally, during the 1950s, "thesaurus" began being used in the field of word processing to refer to a list of related terms used for indexing and retrieval.
Origin and Etymology of thesaurus
New Latin, from Latin, treasure, collection, from Greek thēsauros
First Known Use: circa 1823See Words from the same year
THESAURUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of thesaurus for English Language Learners
: a book in which words that have the same or similar meanings are grouped together
THESAURUS Defined for Kids
Definition of thesaurus for Students
thesauri\-ˈsȯr-ˌī, -ˌē\ or
: a book of words and their synonyms
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