If you have no idea what a thesaurus is and only have one in a bookcase for show then there's a pretty good chance that you've never used one before and that just doesn't sit well with us. Knowing what a dictionary is and using it frequently to look up words is great and all but not utilizing the power of a thesaurus to go along with a dictionary is a shame in our opinion.

To get you up to speed on what a thesaurus is we're going to tell you that it's a reference work that lists grouped together words according to their similarity of meaning, usually containing synonyms but sometimes also including antonyms. This is in contrast to a dictionary, which places an emphasis on definitions and pronunciations.

How to use a thesaurus.

The world's largest thesaurus is the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary, coming in at a robust figure of over 920,000 entries! So, now that you know what a thesaurus is why would you want to use one at home or for work when writing up a paper? Good question and one we're here to readily answer.

A thesaurus is very important when it comes to writing and helps a writer avoid repetition. It's not all that hard to get bogged down by words and while you never want to repeat yourself sometimes you have to make the same point in order to point out how important it is. Now, take a look at that last sentence and point out something you noticed. We used the word "point" twice. In writing that can sound monotonous but using a thesaurus to spruce up your writing, be it for a school paper or company website, would help alleviate such a problem.

Instead of repeating ourselves with the word "point" we could have opened up our thesaurus, looked up the word "point" to see what our options would have been. Check out the end of the revised sentence and tell us what you think: "sometimes you have to make the same argument in order to point out how important it is" Much better, right? The job of a thesaurus is to aid your writing and the example we just gave you shows just how powerful such a tool can be.

Thesauruses also expand a writer's vocabulary and introduces writer's to words they've never heard of before and that will not only make them smarter but also make their poetry, novel, screenwriting, essay or press release writing sparkle; or, if you were to use a thesaurus, scintillate.

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