Difference Between Dictionary and Thesaurus

Main Difference – Dictionary vs.Thesaurus

Both dictionary and thesaurus are reference books for words and are essential tools for writers as well as language learners. The main difference between dictionary and thesaurus is that a dictionary is a book that contains the spelling, meaning and pronunciation of individual words in a language whereas thesaurus is a book that provides synonyms for words.

What is a Dictionary

A dictionary can be described as a collection of words in one or more specific languages listed alphabetically, which provides definitions, meanings, and pronunciations of words. When you find an unfamiliar word, you can look up that word in a dictionary; the dictionary will give you the meaning, pronunciation, orthography, and even the origins of that word. Thus, it can be said that the aim of a dictionary is to explain the orthography, pronunciation and signification of words in a particular language.

A dictionary can also refer to a book of words in one language with their equivalents in another language. This type of dictionaries is especially useful to language learners, tourists and translators.

Dictionary can be further classified as general dictionaries and specialized dictionaries. Specialized dictionaries contain words that belong to specific fields such as medicine, business, IT, etc.

Given below is an excerpt from a dictionary entry.

Recover /rɪˈkʌvə/ (transitive) to find again or obtain the return of (something lost); to regain (loss of money, position, time, etc.); recoup….

Compare this entry with the  following excerpt from a bilingual dictionary. (French – English)

Recouvrir recover; enfant cover up again (couvrir entièrement) cover (de with); (cacher, embrasser) coverDifference Between Dictionary and Thesaurus

What is a Thesaurus

A thesaurus is a reference book that contains words of similar meaning. It is arranged either in alphabetical or conceptual order. A thesaurus comes in use when you are looking for synonyms for specific words to avoid repetition. Unlike a dictionary, a thesaurus does not give the meaning, definition or etymology of a word. It draws our attention the similarities between words and assist us in choosing the exact word. Sometimes, they indicate antonyms as well.Roget’s Thesaurus (1852) compiled by Peter Mark Roget is considered to be the first modern thesaurus.

Here is an example of a thesaurus entry for the verb recover

Recover (verb): get better, improve, get well, recuperate, pick up, heal, revive, come round, bounce back, mend, turn the corner, pull through, convalesce, be on the mend, take a turn for the better….Main Difference - Dictionary vs.Thesaurus

Difference Between Dictionary and Thesaurus

Content

Dictionary contains meaning, definition, pronunciation, orthography, etymology, part of speech of a word.

Thesaurus contains synonyms and antonyms of words.

 Aim

The aim of a dictionary is to provide orthography, pronunciation and signification of words in a particular language.

The aim of a thesaurus is to help the writer to find more suitable words and avoid the repetition of terms.

Use

If you find an unfamiliar word, you can look it up in a Dictionary.

If you want to find a synonym for a word, you use the Thesaurus.

Order

Dictionary follows an alphabetical order.

Thesaurus follows an alphabetical or conceptual order.

Usage

Dictionary is more used by people compared to a thesaurus.

Thesaurus is less used by people compared to a dictionary.

Difference Between Dictionary and Thesaurus- infographic

About the Author: admin


Related pages


what is the difference between bicarbonate soda and baking sodastructural formula of methyl alcohollist of abstract nouns and concrete nounsdifference between an autotroph and a heterotrophcomplement vs compliment differencecytokinesis differences in plant and animal cellshurricane and typhoon differencedifference between monocot and dicot flowersomniscient definitionspherical symmetry biologywhat is the difference between seals and sea lionsdifference between kinematics and kineticsignorant noundifference between analogy and similecacophony in a sentencevernier caliper least count formula pdfmorphology and syntaxfriedel crafts alkylation and acylationformula for ascorbic aciddifference lime and lemondefinition of transverse and longitudinal waveswhat is the difference between a cation and an anionwhat is the difference between absorption and adsorptionwhat is the difference between a formal and informal letterwhat is marxist theory in literatureconform meaning in telugumalamute siberiancompare and contrast polar and nonpolar compoundswhat is the difference between mitosis and meosisdifference between caribou and reindeerdifference between fondant and marzipanpollination vs fertilizationcharacters protagonist antagonistdouble fertilization producesanimals that are cold bloodedsample greeting letter to a friendwhat is the difference between a hog and a pigvernier caliper and micrometer caliperdoes sherbet contain lactosecomparison of properties of ionic and covalent compoundsdeoxyribose formuladioecious animalsexample of synecdoche in a sentencedistinguish between catabolism and anabolismelocution meaningdefinition of achiralpsychological literary criticism definitionsummery vs summaryfeatures of modern periodic tabledefinition acquaintanceswhat is the difference between nail polish and nail lacquercommonwealth star meaningwhat is abstract dictionherbivores vs carnivoreshypoglycemia or hyperglycemiause commiserate in a sentencepast participle gerundwaive vs wavenucleoid is present inis german measles the same as measlesexamples of colloids and crystalloidswrought iron cast iron differencearrogance and ignoranceayurveda and homeopathynormalizing metalflagella and pilifables vs folktalesirradiation meaninglaw of conservation of momentum equationwhat is an adverbialonomatopoeia used in a sentencecuddle and hugsubordinating and coordinating conjunctionswhat is the difference between an atheist and an agnosticwhat are the disadvantages of selective breedingpolysemous words exampleswhat is the difference between internal and external fertilization