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thesaurus

[thi-sawr-uh s] /θɪˈsɔr əs/
noun, plural thesauruses, thesauri
[-sawr-ahy] /-ˈsɔr aɪ/ (Show IPA)
1.
a dictionary of synonyms and antonyms, such as the online Thesaurus.com.
2.
any dictionary, encyclopedia, or other comprehensive reference book.
3.
a storehouse, repository, or treasury.
4.
Computers.
  1. an index to information stored in a computer, consisting of a comprehensive list of subjects concerning which information may be retrieved by using the proper key terms.
  2. a dictionary of synonyms and antonyms stored in memory for use in word processing.
Origin
1730-1740
1730-40; < Latin thēsaurus < Greek thēsaurós ‘treasure, treasury’
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for thesauruses

thesaurus

/θɪˈsɔːrəs/
noun (pl) -ruses, -ri (-raɪ)
1.
a book containing systematized lists of synonyms and related words
2.
a dictionary of selected words or topics
3.
(rare) a treasury
Word Origin
C18: from Latin, Greek: treasure
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for thesauruses

thesaurus

n.

1823, "treasury, storehouse," from Latin thesaurus "treasury, treasure," from Greek 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 (1590s), 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 Middle English with the meaning "treasure" (15c.-16c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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