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Dictionary or Thesaurus?

What's the difference between a dictionary and a thesaurus? When do we use a dictionary and when do we use a thesaurus?


A dictionary tells you what a word means. It gives you a "definition" for each word. When you want to know what a word means, you look in a dictionary.

A dictionary lists definitions or meanings.


A thesaurus gives you words that mean the same as, or nearly the same as, another word. When you can't find the exact word you want, you look in a thesaurus.

A thesaurus lists synonyms and similar words.

The plural of "thesaurus" is "thesauri" or "thesauruses".

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