The Historical Thesaurus of English

The Historical Thesaurus of English

From the webpage:

The Historical Thesaurus of English project was initiated by the late Professor Michael Samuels in 1965 and completed in 2008. It contains almost 800,000 word meanings from Old English onwards, arranged in detailed hierarchies within broad conceptual categories such as Thought or Music. It is based on the second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary and its Supplements, with additional materials from A Thesaurus of Old English, and was published in print as the Historical Thesaurus of the OED by Oxford University Press on 22 October 2009.

This electronic version enables users to pinpoint the range of meanings of a word throughout its history, their synonyms, and their relationship to words of more general or more specific meaning. In addition to providing hitherto unavailable information for linguistic and textual scholars, the Historical Thesaurus online is a rich resource for students of social and cultural history, showing how concepts developed through the words that refer to them. Links to Oxford English Dictionary headwords are provided for subscribers to the online OED, which also links the two projects on its own site.

Take particular note of:

This electronic version enables users to pinpoint the range of meanings of a word throughout its history, their synonyms, and their relationship to words of more general or more specific meaning.

Ooooh, that means that words don’t have fixed meanings. Or that everyone reads them the same way.

Want to improve your enterprise search results? A maintained domain/enterprise specific thesaurus would be a step in that direction.

Not to mention a thesaurus could reduce the 42% of people who use the wrong information to make decisions to a lesser number. (Findability As Value Proposition)

Unless you are happy with the 60/40 Rule, where 40% of your executives are making decisions based on incorrect information.

I wouldn’t be.

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