Why you should use Thesaurus

Thesaurus (n.)

1823, “treasury, storehouse,” from Latin thesaurus “treasury, a hoard, a treasure, something laid up,” figuratively “repository, collection,” from Greek thesauros “a treasure, treasury, storehouse, chest,”

Extract from Online Etymology Dictionary

An extended vocabulary is what makes a proficient and adequate writer. Yet, sometimes it’s simply impossible to remember many different words that describe the same action, condition, or entity. This is where the Thesaurus comes in handy.

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What’s a Thesaurus

Generally, it’s defined as a collection or reference work that lists words that are grouped together according to their meaning. Next to synonyms (words with a similar meaning), some also feature antonyms (words with an opposite meaning). Yet, even though a Thesaurus lists a high number of words with a shared meaning, you shouldn’t rely on this list being complete.


The benefits of such a collection of words with related meaning are obvious.

When writing scientific work, essays for school or university, or even official letters and statements, some words just sound misplaced and too “casual” for the purpose. Working with a Thesaurus lets your writing appear more professional and competent.

Furthermore, when writing short stories, novels, or other pieces of fiction that are meant to be read by more than just the author, repeating the same words over and over and over becomes a nuisance for the reader. Using different words with the same or graded meaning brings more diversity into the text, keeps the reader at bay, and adds more nuances and depth to your writing.

How to use a Thesaurus

There are different ways on how to make use of a Thesaurus.

When using Microsoft Word or another word processing program on your computer, most of them have a build-in Thesaurus tool already. Most of the times, you can find the Thesaurus under Extras > Language, or by right clicking on a highlighted word and selecting Synonyms.

Additionally, there are many online services that provide a Thesaurus, for example Thesaurus.com or the Thesaurus option of the Collins Dictionary.

Some online tools that actually provide another word processing or spell checking service implemented such a Thesaurus feature as well. This way, you can “kill two birds with one stone” and improve your text while getting a check for spelling and grammar as well.

Online-Spellcheck Thesaurus