A 40-year project in the making, the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary is the first historical thesaurus to include almost the entire vocabulary of English, from Old English to the present day. Conceived and compiled by the Department of English Language of the University of Glasgow, the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary is a groundbreaking analysis of the historical inventory of English, allowing users to find words connected in meaning throughout the history of the language.
A- The largest thesaurus resource in the world, covering more than 920,000 words and meanings, based on the Oxford English Dictionary
A- The very first historical thesaurus to be compiled for any of the world's languages
A- Synonyms listed with dates of first recorded use in English, in chronological order, with earliest synonyms first
A- For obsolete words, the Thesaurus also includes last recorded use of word
A- Uses a specially devised thematic system of classification
A- Comprehensive index enables complete cross-referencing of nearly one million words and meanings
A- Contains a comprehensive sense inventory of Old English
A- Includes a free fold-out color chart which shows the top levels of the classification structure
A- Made up of two volumes: The main text, comprising numbers sections for semantic categories, and the index, comprising a full A-Z look up of nearly one million lexical items
The Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary is a unique resource for word-lovers of all types-linguists and language specialists, historians, literary commentators, among others-as well as being a fascinating resource for everyone with an interest in the English language and its historical development. It is a perfect complement to the OED itself, allowing the words in the OED to be cross-referenced and viewed in wholly new ways.
`The publication of this historical thesaurus is a momentus (important, significant) event for all lovers (admirers, devotees, aficionados) of words. I anticipate being overcome (overwhelmed, absorbed) by this book!'
Alexander McCall Smith
`I can hardly imagine any reference book more valuable for the historical novelist: here is the information we spend hours hunting down through the thickets and coverts of the great OED, shot, stuffed, and mounted for us.'
`The 'Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary' will be outstanding and indispendable and so much fun! Who would have thought that 'smacker' (one who gives loud kisses) came in 1611! At the same time as the first King Henry James Bible.'
Forty-five years of exacting scholarship by a well-led team have had a triumphal outcome. This book is a magnificent achievement of quite extraordinary value. It is perhaps the single most significant tool ever devised for investigating semantic, social, and intellectual history.Randolph Quirk Emeritus Quain Professor of English Language and Literature, University College London
The OED gave us individual trees, but never a sight of the whole forest or helpful pathways through it. The thesaurus does precisely that. David Crystal, Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor
I can hardly imagine any reference book more valuable here is the information we had to spend hours hunting down through the thickets and coverts of the great OED, shot, stuffed, and mounted for us.Philip Pullman, Author of His Dark Materials
Here is a work in which you can lose yourself and find your language. The Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary is so thorough and readable that it resembles other thesauri in name only. Finally the OED has a worthy counterpart.Ammon Shea, author of Reading the OED
A treasure-trove for anyone intrigued by word histories An addictive hoard for those who love words.Jean Aitchison, Emeritus Rupert Murdoch Professor of Language and Communication
a word-lovers dream Barbara Kingsolver, Author of The Poisonwood Bible
Volume I (Thesaurus)
Unlocking the OED: the story of the Historical Thesaurus of the OED
Guide to the use of the thesaurus
Thesaurus structure - main sections
Abbreviations used in the thesaurus
I The external world
II The mental world
III The social world
Volume II (Index)
Guide to the use of the index