An improvement over sterile word books and scattered online reference works, this succinct and focused thesaurus offers 300,000 synonyms and 100,000 antonyms, with pedagogy sprinkled along the way. A readable layout blends boldface entries and italicized models among word lists and limits dingbats to arrows. The text favors a variety of users. For the beginning writer or student of composition, “Choose the Right Word” notes encourage contrast, such as sterile versus sanitary. “Word Links” advance readers to alternate listings, for example, from reptile to herpetology. “Word Spectrum” sidebars offer a word continuum, as with the scale of terms from plain to fancy, and new “Word Toolkits,” a form of cross-referencing, connect the reader to close synonyms, such as daunting and formidable. Signed commentary under “Word Notes” offers insight into how and why connotations collect around words. Some, such as David Lehman’s analysis of foundation garments, stray from pedagogy to a cutesy irrelevance. Michael Dirda’s definition of patriotic implies that lovers of their homeland are all male. For this edition, the thematic tables of words from architecture, cooking, geography, and other areas have been collected in a “Wordfinder” section in the center of the volume along with a three-page list of archaic terms and a two-page compilation of such artsy terms as troublous and espy. Although the thesaurus does not seem to have grown, and updating appears to be minimal, this edition is easier to read. Recommended for most libraries that did not acquire the first edition as well as for libraries where the first edition is dog-eared.