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Thesaurus by Field of Knowledge[edit]

I think we should add a classification of thesauri by fields in this article (medical, agriculture, legal, etc.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:47, 13 December 2013 (UTC)


does that image have some deeper meaning apart from being decoration and having the term "thesaurus" printed on it? :D (clem 21:48, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC))

ha anyone ever mistaken the word "thesaurus" for a type of dinosaur? I did when I was 4:)

Well, dinosaur is a modern coinage based on two Greek words, and thesaurus derives from another (however, unrelated) ancient Greek word, so there is a reason for the similarity. Alexander 007 04:55, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
When I first saw Roget's Pocket Thesaurus in a classroom in elementary school, I thought it was a novel about a French kid and a tiny, species undefined dinosaur. Of course, Roget was English, but it looked like a French name to me at the time. I wanted to read that book.God and a half (talk) 22:35, 19 June 2008 (UTC)


I'm not yet familiar with how to edit (or challenge) content on Wiki pages but for now I'll dive into discussion instead. I think it is wrong to say that the RT relationship is used between synonoms or near synonyms. These relationships are better described as equivalence relationships and are controlled using USE and UF. Also I'm concerned with the idea that only "Some Thesauri" control synonyms in this way. While I dont' want to suggest a rigid definition of thesauri used in search and retrieval I will suggest that the equivalence relationship is the primary function of any thesaurus and use of the associative relationsip (RT') is at best secondary. Indeed the latter relationship tends to be liberally and often mistakenly applied.

The associative relationship is, as z39.19 suggests, very hard to define. In my experience of thesaurus development I have seen it represent arbitrary and subjective world views - occasionally views that are ethically dubious. The worst example that I was fortunate enough to have a hand in revoking was "German history RT National socialism". Outrageous.

Ethics aside, RT relationships might assist indexer consistency, but their use in retrieval is less robust. For example, consider an RT established between "Hydroelectriciy" and "Rivers". I suggested this relationship early in my current appointment and fortunately was pulled up by a learned colleague who put this question to me - "If you were interested in Rivers, and you retrieved content about rivers, but you also retreived content about Hydroelectricy, what is the probability that the latter would satisfy the information need?". I think that the answer is about as likely to be yes as it would for Otters, Water falls, Rafting, Fishing, and Baptism.

Naturally the overall scope and purpose of a thesaurus can be used to justify associative relationships established. But most of the time they are over applied. Having inherited a thesaurus that I am now responsible for, which I think is in reasonable shape but still needs alot of work (, I plan to unravel the web of RT's where they are not absolutely necessary.

So that is my rant about RT's. Oh, and I also used to think a Thesaurus was a dinosaur. Have you heard of Thesaurus Rex? This terrifying prehistorical giant had the largest vocabulary of all the carnivors - "Growl, Rah, Snarl, Grrr"...

-I agree with most of your comments, especially regarding related terms. The associative relationship (related term or RT) shouldn't be used to link synonyms or near-synonyms. Synonyms and near-synonyms are best linked with a 'use for' (UF) or 'use' (USE) relationship. USE guides the user from a non-preferred term to the preferred term in a thesaurus. (talk) 01:04, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

I went ahead and edited the discussion of term relationships to clarify.Unclear (talk) 02:20, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

I'm probably not qualified to even venture onto this talk page, but at the risk of inciting more growling (please don't bite) I'm wondering what you find objectionable in "National Socialism" being tied to "German History." Also, I'm curious as to the perceived problem with being presented with words like hydroelectricty, otters, and Baptism when looking up a word like rivers in thesauri. Is it simply a question of efficiency or page count? Personally, I would rather find a list of a hundred words that might possibly be what I'm looking for, than a relatively brief and focused list of words with definitions varying only slightly from my search term, because, in some cases, I'm using a thesaurus not only to search for words but also to clarify or develop the concept I'm trying to express. (Should I admit that Rodale's Synonym Finder is the most used reference on my desk? Hmmm, not sure how that will be received...) Cryptonymius 18:14, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
German history did have something to do with national socialism. Whether that belongs in a thesaurus depends only on what the thesaurus is designed to be used for.

Organization of Thesauri[edit]

I'm interested in the organization of thesauri: the older ones were structured by concept, whereas the newer ones are alphabetical, like a dictionary, with every word having its own entry. Is there a name for this distinction? Really they are entirely different kinds of resource, and it would be useful to know how to distinguish them.

The Name[edit]


Thesar(Treasure) Thes(bag)-A(gold)

LATIN Aurus-Gold


Tesoro(treasure) TES-?ORO-gold


Thisavros(Treasure) I speak modern greek,unfortunatlly not ancient and cannot take out a meaning.


What can be closer to a treasure more then a BAG OF GOLD???!!

You tell me. Dhimos 00:44, 13 April 2007 (UTC) ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________

Except that in the original Greek "thesaurus" (Latinate spelling)/thésauros (Greek transcription), meant a storage facility of any sort not necessarily for Gold. The etymology is from the verb tithemi, from which derives thesis (placement, storage), and which both long and short e (epsilon and eta) are attested in names like Thessalia (placed next to the sea), Theseus (he who sets (things in the right order presumably)). The Albanian connection seems spurious because it is a false etymology, specifically one poised in phono-semantic matching i.e. because it both contains "thes" = bag and "Ar" = gold, and later the word thesaurus coined to mean treasure house and then treasure, it was phonetically and phonotactically matched. Actually, Bag of Gold would be "qese prej ari" or "thes prej ari", the resulting compound of "thesar" is probably not correct in Albanian (though I'm not sure completely). The word Ar seems to be from the Latin influence in the middle ages (Aurum = gold, Ar = gold in Alb.), there are many words whereby Au become A in Albanian, but the Greek has "AU". If it was an Albanian (sic) word it would be Thesaros not Thesauros. Not to mention the fact that Albanian was not attested before the 15th C AD, placing the likelihood of this word to originate in Albanian as near as impossible that I'm really an Alien visitor from another planet. Let's also not get into Illyrianism here but what spurious evidence there is for agnates or cognates with Albanian, seems to point out that Romanian and Albanian are more Daco-Thracian than Illyrian. Unfortunately no one is around to speak Illyrian anymore so we cannot be sure but what evidence there is suggests that this word is indeed a Greek word. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:59, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Thesar has meaning only in Albanian, is very clear thes = bag and ar = gold. And the meaning of the thesar (thesaurus) is to identify something that has value like a thesaur (thes me ar) . Thisavros is the greek spelling of thesar.

External Links[edit]

There really are a lot of external links here. I propose to spend some time cleaning them up a bit. We're dealing with two different types of things here: the descriptive "word finder" type of book, and the formal vocabulary type of database. For the former, we can do away with the multiple repackaged versions of WordNet and Roget, and the sites selling products or filled with ads, as well as non-English ones. For the latter, specific examples should probably go into the "controlled vocabulary" or the "Ontology (computer science)" article, depending which they are. Tono-bungay 00:32, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Personally I think that you need to say that this is the meaning of a thesaurus not an actually thesaurus because that was what I was looking for.

Another word for "thesaurus"?[edit]

Is there another word for thesaurus? Like if you look it up in a thesaurus, is there really another word for it? Is that worth mentioning somewhere? JayKeaton 22:01, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Onomasticon, though it's more that thesaurus falls within its definition than an actual synonym. Definition: a collection or listing of names or words in a specialized field (talk) 13:56, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Thesaurus Meaning[edit]

I'm greek and I have studied ancient greek as well as latin. The original meaning for "Thesaurus" is actually "treasure" and not "treasury" - that's a meaning that came eventually afterwards. I would go ahead and change it, but I need to find a good citation first. If anyone can help out, I'd be really greatful. I know it's a detail, but still it's an error. --Rhapsody88 (talk) 22:18, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Edits Needed[edit]

Still need to format and order the listed thesauri and resources. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Unclear (talkcontribs) 17:20, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

"The Art and Architecture Thesaurus, for example, is used to index the Canadian Information retrieval thesauri are formally organized so that existing relationships between concepts are made explicit." Is that three (parts of) sentences stuck together? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:13, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Has anyone tried the folloiwng services.....????[edit]

-- (talk) 01:20, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

There are more:

Academic views for the topic .....[edit]

according to Google scholar

-- (talk) 01:41, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 01:42, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Meaningless. andy (talk) 06:59, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

I am unsure[edit]

I am unsure about the pronunciation of the word "thesaurus"? Speling12345 (talk) 3:44, 13 December 2013 (UTC)


"List of thesauri" Speling12345 (talk) 3:58, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

[an] idea[edit]

What's the meaning of the indefinite article in square brackets?

Oops, i didn't notice the quote :-) (talk) 19:42, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Power Thesaurus[edit]

Here is a suggestion for the list of thesauri - Power Thesaurus ( It is a crowdsourced thesaurus with very extensive and unique collection of synonyms and antonyms ordered by visitors' rating. Hope this helps. (talk) 11:18, 4 August 2015 (UTC)