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This is the main project page of Wikisaurus—a project and a wiki namespace aiming at creating a thesaurus—a dictionary of synonyms and antonyms.

Please contribute your own Wikisaurus entries, or add to the existing Wikisaurus entries.

Project subpages


See also /purpose

The purpose of Wikisaurus is to serve the role of an electronic thesaurus—a dictionary of synonyms and antonyms in a rather vague and inaccurate sense of the word "synonym". The definition of "synonym" is, quoting Wiktionary, "A word or phrase with a meaning that is the same as, or very similar to, the word or phrase." For the purpose of thesaurus, the definition needs to be adjusted: the word "very" has to be stricken out from the part "very similar". Many thesauri go much farther than that: they list words whose meaning is close enough to the headword to be interesting for the user, disregarding any precise meaning of the word "synonym". The concept of a dictionary of accurate synonyms is incapable of producing typical entries of 20 vague synonyms. (To remove the confusion, coinage of a new term, such as "similonym", would be helpful, although there already is "near-synonym".)

The purpose of such a thesaurus in general is mainly to help anyone who writes for living or fun—writers, managers, contributors to wikis, bloggers, writers of love letters—to find words when they only recall words with slightly different meaning. In general, anyone to whom the choice of words matters can benefit from a thesaurus, especially one linked to a dictionary providing the definitions.

Added value of Wikisaurus is its Wiktionary integration—it links to and is linked from Wiktionary.

To do: add a link to an external consideration of value and uses of thesauri.


Candidate model thesauri include Roget's thesaurus, and, say, The Penguin Thesurus. The two follow different design principles.

Formatting and layout

Formatting seems to be in flux. Specified and discussed at:


Lists of templates:

Template naming:


Template Example Note
  • {{ws|beer|An alcoholic fermented malt drink.}}
  • {{ws|beer|*}}
  • {{ws|beer}}
The second entry is a lazy one. The third one shows no tooltip, but also does not make it clear that one is missing.
To be put around a list of {{ws}} entries. Currently formats the list as a 3-column one.


beer wikisaurus]]
Entered at the very top of the entry. When without parameter, determines the headword automatically.
  • WikiSaurus.png Wikisaurus has an article on “poor” in the sense of “impoverished”.
  • WikiSaurus.png Wikisaurus has an article on “fatigued” in the sense of “physically and mentally exhausted”.
The second example only works if the subpage "/def" is there.
{{comment-link}} Deprecated in Wikisaurus. Preferred template: {{ws}}
Find this word in Wikisaurus
Used for linking from WT articles. Whether encouraged is unclear.
{{R:Roget 1911|beauty}} beauty” in Roget's Thesaurus, T. Y. Crowell Co., 1911.
{{ws sense|glad; in a good mood}} Sense: glad; in a good mood Used after the third level heading for the part of speech.


Since its inception in 2004, the project is in an embryo stage. The formatting is in flux, the entries are few -- 275, so are the contributors. --Dan Polansky 12:38, 26 August 2008 (UTC)


The curret spelling is Wikisaurus with lowercase 's'. In the past, it must have been WikiSaurus with capital 'S' at some point.


The current title of the project is "Wikisaurus". Alternatives considered include "Wikithesaurus".

The current logo: WikiSaurus.png.

This logo Wikisaurus.svg was proposed here in December 2006.

To do: add links to discussions about logo.

Online thesauri

Public domain


  • None listed.


Recent changes


See also Dictionary:Shortcut.
  • WT:WSI - a Wikisaurus index.
  • WT:WS - could be made redirect to this page. Currently redirects to Wiktionary shortcuts.

Signup List

To do

Things to do:

List of all Wikisaurus words

Discussions at Beer Parlour

The following list is highly incomplete.