A dictionary is a collection of words in addition to their meaning, an interpretation and description of usage. A thesaurus gift words together "word families," listing your synonyms without explaining their interpretations or usage. Thesauri may list words alphabetically or conceptually.

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Comparison chart

dictionary versus Thesaurus comparison graph
DictionaryThesaurusDescription World"s an initial Word bespeak Word numbers Categories
Collection of native in one or an ext specific languages listed alphabetically, which offers the meanings, definitions, etymologies and also pronunciations of words. A book that lists indigenous grouped with each other according to similarity of meanings or synonyms and also sometimes antonyms.
Much debate over the world"s very first dictionary. 2300 BCE in contemporary Syria or third century BCE from China. Many trusted dictionary; Oxford English thesaurus published in full in 1884 as little books and in full after 50 years in 1928. The first modern English thesaurus produced by Peter mark Roget released in 1852.
A dictionary lists words alphabetically. A thesaurus may list words alphabetically or conceptually.
Oxford English dictionary lists around 500,000 words and also a further fifty percent a million technical and also scientific terms. Largest thesaurus contains more than 920,000 words.
There are committed dictionaries such as for science or business. Special thesauri are developed for details retrieval in information and science systems: a controlled vocabulary for indexing or tagging purposes.


A dictionary is supplied to look increase the definition of a particular word, say once want to understand what a word means, or the assorted contexts in i m sorry it may be used differently, what part or parts of speech it is, etc. A thesaurus gives thoroughly details ~ above the meaning, definition, usage and etymology that a word.


A thesaurus normally does no contain all the indigenous of the language. It gives several similar alternative native (synonyms), as well as contrasting native (antonyms). A thesaurus is likewise a useful source when you know the definition of the word but not words itself.

Visual Thesaurus

This video explains exactly how to use as a dictionary and also a thesaurus:

Popular Publishers

The most renowned dictionaries room Oxford English Dictionary, Chambers, Merriam-Webster and Collins.

The many popularly offered thesaurus is Roget, and often Webster.


Much debate and doubt is actors over what constitutes as the world"s first dictionary. Archaeologists have found a dictionary from the Akkadian empire located in modern-day Syria that 2300 BCE, which includes bilingual native lists. A 3rd century Chinese thesaurus was found as the very first monolingual word list. Arabic dictionaries were complied in rhyme bespeak in the 8th and also 14th centuries. The more quickly English dictionaries to be bilingual glossaries in French, Italian or Latin. The an initial purely English alphabetical thesaurus was written in 1604 by college teacher Robert Cawdrey dubbed A Table Alphaeticall. It was not believed to be really accurate. Samuel Johnson"s A dictionary of the English Language was regarded as the many trusted "modern" thesaurus for approximately 150 year from 1755 until Oxford English press released the Oxford English dictionary 1884 in tiny books through a full finish version coming out 50 years later in 1928. It is now taken into consideration to be the most trusted thesaurus in the world.

In classical times Philo that Byblos created the first text that could be now thought of together a thesaurus. In Sanskrit the Amarakosha is a thesaurus in verse form, created in the fourth century. The an initial example that the modern-day genre, Roget"s Thesaurus to be compiled in 1805 through Peter note Roget and published in 1852. Entries in Roget"s Thesaurus are noted conceptually rather than alphabetically.

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The very first thesaurus was the Roget"s Thesaurus. It was released in 1852, having actually been compiled previously (in 1805) through Peter Roget. Entries in Roget"s Thesaurus are not detailed alphabetically however conceptually. The an initial dictionary the the Chinese language, the Shuowen_Jiezi, was written roughly 100 CE. Japanese dictionaries source in 682 CE.


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