Roget's Thesaurus

Roget's Thesaurus is the gold standard for English thesauruses (or would it be thesauri)? Anyway, do French speakers have a preferred thesaurus and if so, what is it? I think it would be very helpful to have one. Merci d'avance.

September 13, 2015


That's a really good question. I can see myself getting good use out of a thesaurus since there are lots of things I only know one word for.

I had a quick look on Amaon.FR and I found following possibilities:-

Trouver le mot juste

Thésaurus (from Larousse)

Le Thésaurus - Dictionnaire des Analogies

Le dictionnaire des synonymes et des contraires (also from Larousse)

When you go to the links there are a bunch of interesting alternate suggestions as well. I think I might get better use out of these reference books when my French has improved a bit since I know from the English thesaurus that you generally can't just swap in an alternate word without thinking about it. It helps (maybe is necessary) to actually know the word already so in a lot of ways it is just an aide memoire.

Anyone got any personal experiences of a thesaurus or thesaurus like book they can share?

September 13, 2015

Thanks for doing all the legwork with the resources. I would assume anything from Larousse would be good. I am curious what a native French speaker would use, or maybe don't really use them. I use my English one quite a bit, more so than my dictionary.

September 14, 2015

En français, nous disons plutôt dictionnaire de synonymes (synonym dictionary). I use a lot this kind of dictionary both in English and French. In my wiew, the Larousse synonyms are weak and succinct. The best, on the Internet, is "synonyme notre famille", "dictionnaire sensagent", too. And, a bit different, "cnrtl" (Centre National de Ressources Textuelles et Lexicales) which provides many examples but sometimes a bit difficult because they are picked from French literature. In English, I use Merriam-webster, Oxford dictionary and Macmillan dictionary. I don't know Roget's thesaurus but I'm going to look at it.

September 14, 2015

Thanks for the resources France Marie. I will check them out.

September 14, 2015

Just a caution. A thesaurus is something I very rarely use in English- only when the proper word is on the tip of my tongue and I can't quite put my finger on it. Connotation is a very subtle thing, and one has to fully understand the connotation of a word to use it properly.

September 13, 2015

That is a really good point about nuance and connotation. I have such a poor memory that I end up using my thesaurus often, like you said, because the word is on the tip of my tongue or I just can't think of the word I want. I have been doing some French assessments for the company for which I work and I was surprised by the number of French words there are for "manage". It got me thinking that that would be an interesting resource to have, with the caveat you mentioned above.

September 14, 2015

thesauruses (or would it be thesauri)

Both are correct, though I think thesauruses would get you fewer weird looks. ;P

September 13, 2015
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