Thesaurus? Is that a cousin of Allosaurus? Far from it. The thesaurus is a book that gives us synonyms. These are words that have similar meanings. We had discussed synonyms in the previous issue.
A thesaurus is something like a dictionary. But, a dictionary gives you the meanings of words, and a thesaurus gives you words that have a similar meaning.
For example, if you want to know words that are similar in meaning to ‘great’, you refer to the thesaurus and you would find words like ‘expert’, ‘good’, ‘skilful’, ‘veteran’, ‘majestic’, ‘magnanimous’ and so on.
A thesaurus also gives you words that have an opposite or somewhat opposite meaning. These are called ‘antonyms’. For example, antonyms for ‘great’ are ‘unskilled’, ‘amateur,’ ‘insignificant,’ ‘unseasoned’ and so on.
A thesaurus comes in handy when you are composing a letter, a story, an essay, a poem or any other kind of literary work. When you are struggling for a word that you want to reflect exactly what you want to say, the thesaurus could be a life-saver.