Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

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The 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.[1] As its website states, "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."[2]

Work on the HTOED started in 1965 and it was published on 22 October 2009, after 44 years of work.[3] It consists of two slipcased hardcover volumes, totaling nearly 4,000 pages. The thesaurus interface is also available online through the University of Glasgow.[2]

Main sections[edit]

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.[4] The second order categories are:[5]


External links[edit]