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Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Synonyms Indexed Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
It is important to understand that this book is NOT a thesaurus, but a completely different, yet equally useful, reference work. A very good essay at the beginning of this book explains this, and gives an interesting history of how books of synonyms developed over the past centuries.
The best thesaurus is Roget's International Thesaurus -- the original work, now in its 6th edition, not one of the ones in "dictionary format." Roget's provides long lists words of similar meaning, grouped under conceptual headings. Its purpose is to jog your memory, spur creative thinking, or help you realize what you are really trying to say. It is absolutely the best thing for easing writer's block and helping you to find a word.
The purpose of this book, on the other hand, is to help you understand the differences between similar words. It explains nuances of meaning and compares words that mean approximately, but not quite, the same thing. It has a number of long entries that discuss 5 or 6 similar words together, explaining when to use each and giving examples (usually from good literature) of the correct use of each. When you look up one of the other synonyms, it will point you to the main article in which it is discussed.Read more ›
It's also in some ways easier to use than a typical thesaurus, since if you just need a different word and can't recall one, it's easiest to just look it up and get a quick alternative, instead of going through all the extra words you'd get in a thesaurus, but which aren't exactly what you want. Overall, a fine reference work and one that deserves to be better known.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Delightful. Goes beyond the word lists of a thesaurus with entries that explain important differences between synonyms. A real page-turner.Published on November 6, 2013 by Harper Curtis
I've used this book since the mid 80's and recently bought it for my son-in-law.
For anyone who wants to communicate with others, this book is an essential tool. Read more
Throw away your Roget. This book discriminates between the subtle meanings of synonyms where Roget presents only a list - and a tired list at that. Read morePublished on April 17, 2013 by Stuart Leviton
I agree with everything said by other 5-star reviewers. This book is an indispensable resource for any serious writer. Our First Edition is dated 1942. Spread the word! Read morePublished on March 19, 2013 by Louis Torres
I first discovered this wonderful book in high school, 1957. What I learned was that synonyms may mean the same thing, but they each carry a different connotation. Read morePublished on May 8, 2012 by jrthewhale
I have been an English learner for many years and I found this book the most useful among other dictionaries and thesaurus.Published on April 21, 2012 by Yufen