Word Origin & History
1823, "treasury, storehouse," from L. thesaurus "treasury, treasure," from Gk. thesauros "a treasure, treasury, storehouse, chest," from root of tithenai "to put, to place." The meaning "encyclopedia filled with information" is from 1840, but existed earlier as thesaurarie (1592), used as a title by
early dictionary compilers. Meaning "collection of words arranged according to sense" is first attested 1852 in Roget's title. Thesaur is attested in M.E. with the meaning "treasure" (15c.-16c.).