The Oxford Thesaurus
Praised in The New Yorker as the "lexicographer to the world," Oxford is renowned as the world's leading dictionary maker, the home of the redoubtable Oxford English Dictionary as well as an impressive array of English, foreign language, and subject area dictionaries. An important member in our family of language reference is The Oxford Thesaurus of American English, compiled by one of America's pre-eminent lexicographers, Laurence Urdang.
Urdang and Oxford have rethought from the ground up the way a thesaurus is organized and used, to create the most authoritative, precise, up to date, and helpful synonym finder available. There are at present two types of thesauruses, based on access systems: the Roget's style, which groups words according to concepts (a viable but awkward system which usually requires considerable flipping back and forth from index to main text), and the Dictionary style, which groups words alphabetically (which allows fast access if the word you have in mind is a headword; but if not, you're stumped). The Oxford Thesaurus of American English combines the best of both styles with a unique double-access system: we've organized the headwords alphabetically--so that more often than not, you can turn right to the main text to find synonyms--but we include an extensive synonym index, which lists over 100,000 words in the main text that are not headwords. Thus writers enjoy both the comprehensiveness of a Roget's and the ease of use of a Dictionary style, in one authoritative volume.
The double-access system allows the most precise word selection with the least effort. And to enhance precision even more, Urdang has added several other features to help writers pick the best word for each context. If a headword has more than one sense, he breaks synonyms down into groups, and within each group, he orders words according to how closely they match the meaning of the headword. Moreover, he illustrates each group with a sample sentence, so you can be sure you are making your selection from the right list of alternatives. Urdang provides complete coverage of current English, and for those desiring a richer vocabulary, he supplements the standard synonyms with unusual words and phrases, including regional and idiomatic expressions, slang, colloquialisms, and so forth. And finally, he includes a cross-referencing system within the main text which links related groups of synonyms.
Fast and easy to use, up to date, and authoritative, The Oxford Thesaurus of American English is an essential tool for anyone who wants to write with more variety, color, and precision. It is a must for all writers, whether novice or expert, student or teacher, business executive or journalist.
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