Content of the Dictionary of Synonyms
Antidote’s dictionary of synonyms is a treasure trove, overflowing with well over a million synonyms, including expressions like scarf down and dead to the world. It also lists tens of thousands of hyponyms (words more specific than the headword) and hyperonyms (words less specific than the headword).
Synonyms are grouped by meaning, with each group introduced by a chevron. When the headword has more than one possible meaning, a short heading in green specifies the meaning in question.
Every sub-meaning (nuance of meaning or use) is indented under the main meaning and introduced by a bold green bullet (●).
Use the triangle to change the way the list of synonyms for each meaning is displayed. It lets you switch between a detailed display, which is practical when you want to thoroughly research the meaning you are seeking, and a summary display, useful for a quickly perusing the various meanings. The same symbol in the heading lets you shrink or expand all the lists at once.
Hyperonyms and hyponyms
Hyperonyms are synonyms with a broader meaning than the headword. For instance, enter the word car and you will see ride, motor car, carriage, automobile, etc., but also the more general transportation, vehicle. Hyperonyms are given under the more general heading, and are indented to the right of a vertical line. A hide/show chevron lets you display or conceal them (the number of hidden hyperonyms is indicated).
Hyponyms are synonyms with a more specific meaning than the headword. For instance, hyponyms of car are cabriolet, roadster, saloon, etc. which are specific types of car. Hyponyms are given under the more specific heading and are indented to the right of a vertical line. A hide/show chevron lets you display or conceal them (the number of hyponyms hidden is indicated).
A small blue circle with a number indicates either that a hyponym has hyponyms of its own, or that a hyperonym has hyperonyms of its own. Clicking on that circle will reveal these secondary hyponyms (shown with a right-pointing arrow) or hyperonyms (shown with a left-pointing arrow) in a list. The same process can be repeated should any of the newly revealed words have their own hyponyms or hyperonyms, letting you explore the semantic hierarchy and easily find the specific term you are seeking, or expand your knowledge by exploring different semantic families.
Some nouns describe a group of other nouns collectively. For example, a group of wolves is a pack. These collective names are given under the collectives heading, and are arranged in the same way as the hyponyms and hyperonyms.
Labels, in small caps, indicate the context in which the synonym is used. Domain labels, in black font, indicate the sector of activity to which the meaning applies (e.g. ASTRONOMY, MUSIC, MEDICINE). Usage labels indicate specific linguistic registers of the meaning (e.g. formality, regionalism). Most usage labels are shown in blue (e.g. INFORMAL, UK, EUPHEMISM). Others, in cases calling for close attention, are displayed in red (e.g. TABOO, SLUR, VULGAR).
- To configure how synonyms with labels are displayed, click the button to the right of the entry, then an option in the With labels menu.
The context, in grey and parentheses, is intended to keep you from making a hasty choice, by indicating an important nuance in the meaning of the synonym.
Main morphological sections
Some entries are separated into large divisions when their specific forms have different meanings. The entry for “depart”, for example, is divided into “depart” and “departed”.
Sorting the synonyms
You can choose between four ways of sorting the synonyms: alphabetically, by relevance, by frequency or by length (number of letters). Sorting options are accessible from the button underneath to the right of the entry.
The same menu bar also contains two filters that cause only certain synonyms, hyponyms and hyperonyms to be shown. The first filter is based on the words’ semantic or expressive strength (strong, weak or neutral). The second filter allows only words without usage or domain labels to be shown.
- By default everything is shown.
- Filtres active is shown under the button, letting you know that some synonyms are hidden. Click to disable the filters and return to the complete view.
The right-hand panel displays the definitions of the synonym selected. With both the synonyms and their definitions at hand, you can efficiently find the most suitable synonym.
- When you open the synonyms dictionary or after you have conducted a search, the definitions that appear are those corresponding to the headword. You can then select each synonym in turn, using the mouse or the arrow keys, to quickly display the definition of each synonym.