Do you ever struggle to find just the right word? Maybe it’s on the tip of your tongue, but you can’t quite think of it. I’ve been using the same old trusty paperback thesaurus for years. It was brand new when I got it for a writing class in high school, but it’s so well-worn now that the pages are all turning yellow and falling out. Plus I don’t know where I put it.
So today I discovered Thesaurus.com, an online dictionary of sorts that specializes in words that have the same or similar meanings (synonyms), and their opposites (antonyms). Thesaurus.com is actually pretty useful because it not only lists words in alphabetical order, but it also filters words by their senses, relevance, complexity, and length.
Think about the word “light,” for example. Just that one word has a wide range of meanings: illuminated, not heavy, funny, to start a fire, and so on. Once you select which sense of a word you are aiming for, Thesaurus.com sorts the results by relevance. You can further refine the results by complexity and length. Are you looking to impress your professor? Try incandescent. Writing a note to your seven-year-old nephew? Use shining. You can sort by commonly used and informal words, too.
Give it a try and have fun playing with words! 🙂