Antidote 11 User Guide

User Guide / The Dictionaries / Dictionary of Synonyms / Presentation

Dictionary of Synonyms

Synonyms are another area in which Druide’s lexicographers have been able to take advantage of the power of computers. Antidote includes millions of synonyms for tens of thousands of entries.

Our main goal here was to allow you to quickly find the synonym you are looking for. For this, three things are required: the lists of synonyms have to be rich, well structured, and immediately accessible.

Seeking the right balance between feast and famine, we built up rich lists of synonyms while ensuring that all remain relevant. We then classified the synonyms by meanings and sub-meanings, all of which are clearly labelled. Each list is ordered by its proximity to the meaning of the headword; you can also organize them by frequency, length or alphabetically. Continuous text display allows you to see more synonyms at once. Thanks to a clever use of colour, the appropriate meaning can be quickly spotted, allowing you to rapidly zoom in on the desired synonym.

Nor have we limited ourselves to words. Antidote systematically includes multiword expressions, since they do constitute bona fide synonyms and are often perfectly appropriate, such as grab a bite for eat, or title holder for champion.

We have also included the hyponyms and hyperonyms of thousands of nouns. Hyponyms are synonyms that have a more specific meaning, like greyhound for dog, whereas hyperonyms are synonyms that have a more general meaning, like mammal for dog. Together, hyponyms and hyperonyms form a true taxonomy of the language, a family tree of words that you can browse as you please.

Furthermore, Antidote’s synonyms are not confined to formal language, but draw on all registers and regional dialects. You will find as many informal synonyms as literary ones, and synonyms that are used in all areas of the English-speaking word, e.g. sheila, we learn, is an informal synonym for young girl in Australia, whereas bird might be used for the same notion in the UK, and chick might be used in the US (although the latter two are somewhat impolite). Of course, each of these “deviations from the standard or neutral form” is appropriately marked (UK, informal, etc.).

Another new and useful feature is that Antidote allows you to carefully select the right word by examining the full definition of each suggested synonym: just click on the word and its definition appears right beside it. No pages to turn, no windows to manipulate.