Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary
The Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary (HTOED) is the largest thesaurus in the world, conceived and compiled by the English Language Department of the University of Glasgow. The HTOED is a complete database of all the words in the second edition of The Oxford English Dictionary, arranged by semantic field and date. In this way, the HTOED arranges the whole vocabulary of English, from the earliest written records in Old English to the present, alongside types and dates of use. It is the first historical thesaurus to be compiled for any of the world's languages and contains 800,000 meanings for 600,000 words, within 230,000 categories, covering more than 920,000 words and meanings, and making it double the size of Roget’s version. As its website states, "the Thesaurus will be equally valuable in linguistic studies, where it will contribute essential information to the study of meaning and change of meaning, and will also be relevant in such fields as the history of ideas and cultural history."
Work on the HTOED started in 1965 and it was published on 22 October 2009, after 44 years of work. It consists of two slipcased hardcover volumes, totaling nearly 4,000 pages. Oxford University Press announced in June 2010 that the contents of the Historical Thesaurus would be incorporated into the OED Online when it is relaunched in December.
The work is divided into three main sections: the External World, the Mind, and Society. These are broken down into successively narrower domains. The text eventually discriminates more than 236,000 categories. The second order categories are:
- Woolcock, Nicola (2009-07-06). "After a 44year labour of love worlds biggest thesaurus is born". The Times (London).
- HTE: Historical Thesaurus of English Historical Thesaurus of English website, Faculty of Arts, University of Glasgow.
- "UK | England | Oxfordshire | Forty-year wait for new thesaurus". BBC News. 2009-07-06. Retrieved 2010-04-15.
- Historical Thesaurus is a masterpiece worth waiting 40 years for
- Historical Thesaurus of English
- Menu page for the Historical Thesaurus of English, allowing one to search the thesaurus for synonyms.
- A Historical Thesaurus of English (HTE) homepage, including links to a limited test website and the complete searchable Thesaurus of Old English (Roberts and Kay 1995, 2000).
- "OED Online relaunch: frequently asked questions", FAQ by OUP, June 2010.