Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Dictionary and Thesaurus

Dictionary vs Thesaurus

Dictionaries and thesauri are reference books for words. A Dictionary contains alphabetical lists of words that includes the meaning, etymology and pronunciation while the thesaurus is a book that contains synonyms and even antonyms.

A dictionary explains the meaning of a word and shows how it is spelled and used. A thesaurus is a book that contains words that can be used in place of another word. Unlike the dictionary, the words in a thesaurus are arranged either alphabetically (just like the dictionary) or thematically (words of similar meanings grouped together).

While a dictionary defines a word, a thesaurus gives a choice of words for each entry. A thesaurus is very beneficial for people like writers and business people who want different words that convey the message in a better way.
There are various thesauri, some of which may give additional information like the word’s definition, parts of speech and more. Some thesaurus may also contain phrases, sentences and clauses with the words that make it easy to understand. One can come across student thesauruses and esoteric thesauruses.
Regarding dictionaries, one can come across different types. Some dictionaries use the International Phonetic Alphabet, while others use the alphabet to show pronunciation. Most dictionaries are not just limited to word meanings but also explain the different usages and the parts of speech. They may also contain antonyms.. Apart from the English dictionaries, one can come across language dictionaries and also bilingual dictionaries. There are also dictionaries for specialized areas such as medicine and geography.

Summary

  1. A dictionary contains an alphabetical list of words that includes the meaning, etymology and pronunciation.  A thesaurus is a book that contains synonyms and even antonyms.
  2. Unlike the dictionary, the words in thesaurus are arranged either alphabetically (just like the dictionary) or thematically (words of similar meanings grouped together).
  3. While a dictionary defines a word, a thesaurus gives a list of words with similar meanings for each entry.
  4. A dictionary explains the meaning of a word and how it is spelled and used.
  5. One can come across student thesauri and esoteric thesauri.
  6. Apart from the English dictionaries, one can come across language dictionaries and also bilingual dictionaries.
  7. There are also dictionaries that denote specific areas such as medical dictionary and the geography dictionary.

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks! Always wanted to know about it!

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