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The Synonym Finder Paperback – August 1, 1986

4.8 out of 5 stars 307 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The most comprehensive work of its kind I know".

-- John Barkham Reviews

From the Back Cover

The Last Word in Thesauruses
-- More than 1,000,000 synonyms
-- Simple alphabetical arrangement -- no separate index necessary
-- Separate subdivisions for the different parts of speech and different meanings of the same word
-- Expanded to include thousands of new words and expressions that have entered the language in recent years
-- Includes clearly labeled slang and informal words and expressions, as well as rare, archaic, scientific and other specialized terms
-- Minimum cross-references
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1361 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Revised edition (August 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446370290
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446370295
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 2.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (307 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By mirasreviews HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"The Synonym Finder" is a thesaurus in dictionary form. There are no word definitions or pronunciation guides. Words are listed alphabetically, as they would be in a dictionary, and an exhaustive list of synonyms is given for each definition of every word. Clarifications such as "informal", "slang", "archaic", etc. are provided where appropriate. There are 1.5 million words in "The Synonym Finder", including variations on the same root word. That's more than 4 times the number of words in "Roget's International Thesaurus". If you simply want to find synonyms, this is the book for you. It isn't as versatile as a thesaurus that is organized by subject, but it's more to the point and easier to use if you are simply looking for word alternatives. Roget's is a better research tool, but this is a better and far more efficient synonym finder, and I think that students will prefer it to Roget's. My one pet peeve about the book is that the hardback edition doesn't have a dust jacket. The publisher may have thought a dust jacket would just be a nuisance on a reference book, but I would have preferred one for protection. I only wish "The Synonym Finder" were also available as software, as I have limited space for books within arm's reach of my computer. I use "The Synonym Finder" more frequently than my dictionary, Roget's Thesaurus, and Random House Word Menu combined. I think any writer will find it indispensable, and it would make great gift for middle school, high school, and college students.
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Format: Paperback
Until coming across this book, I found thesauri to be more frustrating than trying to chew Captain Crunch cereal without any teeth. Not that I know what that's like, but it's easy enough to imagine.

Then I saw this. And found that all of the thesauri collected in my library had become worthless. This is the OED of thesauri, indispensable and perfect beyond comprehension. You will want to order this in hardcover, for you will find yourself using it again, and again, and again, and again.

When I bought this book I actually did comparisons between the synonyms in this book and others, and was astounded. I don't remember the word offhand, but this book had over twenty synonyms, while Roget's had seven. An Oxford thesaurus had eleven, but that was as good as it got.

The most important thing about this book is that the synonyms are relevant. The author hasn't just packed a bunch of words together here to make it look good.
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Format: Hardcover
I've had Rodale's Synonym Finder in my reference library for over ten years, and find that I use it at least ten times a month. There is simply no other book in the English language that is more comprehensive (the number of pages is an obvious give away) nor more helpful. As a lover of language, I frequently examine other such books, and always find that they come up short against this exhaustive resource. What makes this particular reference so valuable is that it recognizes each word usually has more than one meaning, and when it gives a synonym, it is by meaning, not simply by word. Moreover, the reference gives various examples when a word is used as an adjective or adverb, and either as a noun or a verb. It's this breadth and depth that makes this particular synonym finder so extraordinarily superior to the competition. My only lament is that it doesn't include antonymns, but then the book would probably be too large and too cumbersome. As it stands now, the words are clearly displayed, and the synonyms - in all their variety - are abundant.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This review will be short but sweet. This is the BEST Synonym book around. I have bought a look in my search for the best, and this is my second copy of this book. It is a WRITER's MUST...if you don't have it, you are missing out.
Everyone I have recommended this to have come back and thanked me for 'saving' them!!
Easy to read print, EXTENSIVE listing of Synonym.
Worth every penny and a bargin at that!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love thesauri. I have two editions of the "Original Roget's International Thesaurus" (RIT) [http://www.amazon.com/Rogets-International-Thesaurus-Barbara-Kipfer/dp/0060935448/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1259963225&sr=1-1], and it has been for many years my most cherished book. English is my second language.

I recently purchased the Synonym Finder (SF). I am disappointed with the SF, in comparison with the superior and richer RIT.

The most helpful review on this site says: "There are 1.5 million words in the SF [...]. That's more than 4 times the number of words in the RIT.". How misleading! It is not the number of repeated words that is important, but the number of index words and word-assoociations. The organization of the SF is linear ("dictionary form"): the same word is merely repeated over and over. The RIT is hierarchical and associative, leading the reader systematically and efficiently from perfect synonyms to "near" and "related" words, and of course includes antonyms and word-lists as well.

The SF has nearly 20,000 index words. The RIT has over 25,000. Check it out!

Try to find index words like "at first sight", "bring together", "consequently", "downplay", "easy on the eye", or "fine-tune" in the SF. And these are just a few examples.

But the big difference between the linear SF and the by-category RIT is not just the number of index-words, but the natural way one searches for a synonym associately. For each index word, the RIT will recommend perhaps only ten alternatives, but each of these is an entire category, leading to 20, 50 or 200 more. The SF, on the other hand, will just provide a linear list of 5-15 other words - invariably a poorer set of choices.
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