Search for synonyms using the Visual Thesaurus

The Visual Thesaurus is an online thesaurus and dictionary of over 145,000 words that you explore and visualize using an interactive map.

Type in a word and the Visual Thesaurus will show you a map of synonyms, antonyms, and definitions.

Unlike Roget's Thesaurus, the Visual Thesaurus contains over 39,000 proper nouns and American and British spellings and pronunciations.

It's a tool for people who think visually. Look up your word now!

Adding to our collection of Beatles linguistic analysis (we've written about the iconic band's pronouns, nonsense sounds, and gear language) and in a manner reminiscent of recent analysis of rappers' vocabularies, the Liverpool Echo has conducted a vocabulary survey of British pop music, and concluded that the Beatles "have one of the smallest vocabularies in pop music."  Continue reading...
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I've been a fan of Lexicon Valley, Slate's podcast about language, since it began a couple of years ago, and so I was honored when Mike Vuolo, who hosts the show with Bob Garfield, asked if I'd like to be featured regularly on it. Together, we decided on a format that would be fun for us, as well as, we hope, the listeners: I would come prepared with a mystery word, and Mike and Bob would have to guess the word itself and its origins.  Continue reading...
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"A breath of fresh air." "Few and far between." "At the end of the day." These are just a few of the clichés examined by Orin Hargraves, an experienced lexicographer and one of our regular contributors, in his new book It's Been Said Before: A Guide to the Use and Abuse of Cliches. In this excerpt, Hargraves explains how to "free your speech and writing of unneeded and detrimental clichés."  Continue reading...
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Mignon Fogarty, better known as her alter ego Grammar Girl, has been sharing a series of short tips on usage and style. In her latest installment, she explains why the plural of the word ox is oxen instead of oxes.  Continue reading...
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Automatically create lists of vocabulary from any text using the Visual Thesaurus VocabGrabber.
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Think you are a good speller? Take the Visual Thesaurus Spelling Bee and find out!
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Blog Excerpts

The Return of Lexicon Valley

Lexicon Valley, Slate's podcast for language lovers, has just returned after an extended hiatus. First up is an interview with Columbia University professor John McWhorter about his new book The Language Hoax. Listen to the podcast here, and also check out Mark Peters' review of McWhorter's book here. And stay tuned for news about our own Ben Zimmer joining forces with the Lexicon Valley podcasters!
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Blog Excerpts

The 2014 Spelling Bee Is Here!

It's time once again for the Scripps National Spelling Bee! The preliminaries are today, and the nationally televised semifinals and finals are tomorrow (May 29). As in past years, our own Ben Zimmer will be live-tweeting the competition from the @VocabularyCom Twitter account and reporting on the results here in his Word Routes column. In the meantime, catch up on our coverage of the format changes introduced last year that brought vocabulary questions into the mix: here and here.
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How can interpreting the language of stage directions enhance students' comprehension of drama?  Continue reading...
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