The Synonym Finder

This is the best thesaurus there is. It supplies more synonyms, analogs, parallels, equivalents and comparable words in English than any other source, online or off. No other thesaurus comes near to it for completeness or breadth. Compiled in dictionary form, like the one in your word processors, there’s no index or cross-referencing. Just look up a word, any word, and it proceeds to overwhelm you with alternative choices (a total of 1.5 million synonyms are presented in 1,361 pages), including short phrases and only mildly related words. Rather than being a problem of imprecision, the Finder’s broad inclusiveness prods your imagination and prompts your recall.

Its single downside, however, is a major frustration: it is not available digitally, in a form compatible to the way most people write these days. It should live on your computer in a pull-down option, or plug-in for Word or the like. I’m totally baffled why it is not. As it is, it’s a huge fat book — a great book! — sitting within arms’ reach when I write, but not near enough for the power that it offers.

-- KK  

The Synonym Finder
J.I. Rodale
1986, 1361 pages
$12

Available from Amazon

Recommended by Judy Renouf

Sample Excerpts:

My comparison of four thesauruses using the terms COOL and TOOL:

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Microsoft Word’s Thesaurus

COOL – cold, chill, chilly, fresh, breezy, fashionable, trendy, hip, with it, offhand, unfriendly, icy, distant, detached, frosty, frigid, unenthusiastic, freshen, muted.
TOOL – gear, tackle, utensil, apparatus, paraphernalia.

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Merriam-Webster Online Thesaurus

COOL — Synonyms: aloof, antisocial, cold, detached, distant, frosty, remote, standoffish, unsociable, chill, refrigerate. Related Words: introverted, reclusive, reserved, withdrawn; misanthropic; apathetic, indifferent, unconcerned; disinterested, incurious, uninterested; reticent, silent, taciturn; diffident, shy, timid, air-condition; freeze, ice, quick-freeze, supercool; air-cool, ventilate.
TOOL — Implement, pawn, dupe.

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Dictionary.com Thesaurus

COOL — Adjective: cold, air-conditioned, algid, arctic, biting, chill, chilled, chilling, chilly, coldish, frigid, frore, frosty, gelid, nipping, nippy, refreshing, refrigerated, shivery, snappy, wintry. Adjective: calm, assured, collected, composed, coolheaded, deliberate, detached, dispassionate, impassive, imperturbable, level-headed, nonchalant, philosophical, phlegmatic, placid, quiet, relaxed, self-controlled, self-possessed, serene, stolid, together, tranquil, unagitated, unemotional, unexcited, unflappable, unruffled. Adjective: disapproving, aloof, annoyed, apathetic, distant, frigid, impertinent, impudent, incurious, indifferent, insolent, lukewarm, offended, offhand, offish, procacious, reserved, solitary, standoffish, unapproachable, uncommunicative, unenthusiastic, unfriendly, uninterested, unresponsive, unsociable, unwelcoming, withdrawn. adjective: excellent, dandy, divine, glorious, groovy, hunky-dory, keen, marvelous, neat, nifty, sensational, swell.verb: chill, abate, air-condition, air-cool, ally, calm, freeze, frost, infrigidate, lessen, lose heat, mitigate, moderate, reduce, refrigerate, temper.
TOOL — Noun : instrument, apparatus, appliance, bucksaw, contraption, contrivance, device, dojigger, engine, gadget, gizmo, implement, job, machine, means, mechanism, utensil, weapon, whatchamacallit, accomplice, accessory, accomplice, agent, auxiliary, cat’s-paw, chump, creature, dupe, easy mark, figurehead, flunky, go-between, greenhorn, hayseed, hireling, idiot, intermediary, jackal, lackey, mark, medium, messenger, minion, patsy, pawn, peon, puppet, stooge, stool pigeon, sucker, tuna, vehicle.

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The Synonym Finder

COOL — adj. 1. chilly, chill, nippy, unheated, unwarmed, heatless, sunless; breezy, draughty, windy. 2. composed, collected, Inf. together, self-possessed, self-controlled; easy-going, relaxed, even-tempered, imperturbable, unexcitable, unflappable; unexcited, unmoved, unperturbed unruffled, staid, sedate; undemonstrative, unemotional, stoical, philosophical; passionless, impassive, dispassionate. 3. passive, undesiring, unexcitable, frigid; phlegmatic, listless, half-hearted, lukewarm; stony, flinty, steely. 4. deliberate, intentional, purposeful, meant, willful, volitional, voluntary; premeditated. calculated, designed, planned, plotted, schemed, devised, contrived. 5. unfriendly, unsociable, unwelcome, uninviting, forbidding; uncordial, ungracious, unamicable, inhospitable; unapproachable, inaccessible, closed tight; distant, remote, stand-offish, Inf. offish. 6. audacious, presumptuous, overconfident, impertinent, assuming, insolent, impudent, brazen,brassy, Inf. nervy, Inf. pushy; unabashed, shameless, forward, Inf. fresh, bumptious. 7. aloof, indifferent, apathetic, unconcerned, disinterested, incurious, uninquisitive; removed, detached, uninvolved, unresponsive, unsympathetic. — v. 8. chill, refrigerate, freeze, frigorify, Rare. infrigidate; ice, glaciate, congeal, regelate. 9. soothe, allay, assuage, mollify, soften; moderate, temper, Archaic. attemper; mitigate, abate, lessen, diminish, reduce; quiet, still, compose, lull, hush; pacify, tranquilize, smoothe, settle. 10. cool it Slang. a. take it easy, calm down, don’t sweat it, go with the tide, roll with the punches, take it in stride, think nothing of it b. cut it out, drop it, lay off, knock it off, come off it. 11. cool off Informal. calm down, relax, loosen up, settle down, unwind, simmer down.
TOOL — n. 1. implement, instrument, utensil, apparatus, device, contrivance, invention; gadget, dohickey, hickey, Inf. contraption, Sl. gimmick; aid, convenience, Archaic. conveniency, time-saver; appliance, mechanism, machine, automaton, robot. 2. vehicle, channel, agency, instrumentality, means, way, ways and means, wherewithal; agent, medium, intermediary, middleman, go-between, broker, Chiefly Brit. factor, Sl. ten-percenter; cat’s-paw, pawn, puppet, creature; jackal, flunky, lackey, attendant, peon, servant, handmaid, menial; minion, follower, toady, sycophant, Inf. yes man; hireling, underling, assistant, henchman, Sl. stooge; dummy, dupe, Sl. pigeon, gull, gudgeon, Inf. sucker.