Wiktionary talk:Thesaurus

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See Wiktionary:Thesaurus considerations for the debate about how a Thesaurus should be implemented in Wiktionary.


Should there be separate entries for different parts of speech since some synonyms are only synonyms for a particular part of speech, eg. to bed = to screw, but a bed != a screw (guess which word I looked up first)

I guess in such instances there would have to be. WordNet associates its synonyms with different meanings of the word. --Eean 07:11, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Speaking of which, was there any discussion about importing WordNet? Nemo 19:15, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
Yes, as per Wiktionary:Princeton WordNet and its talk page. --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:47, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
Within the one Wiktionary entry you can have separate lists of words, with differnt meanings spearated into different groups. see WikiSaurus:body as a bit of an idea around this.

I would model a WikiSaurus as a Roget's thesaurus, this seems to be the most useful design for a thesaurus. — Hippietrail 11:24, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Maybe we should have Roget's Thesaurus index as our base, and when we get to a "Key Word", such as "Corpse" (if I read the Wiktionary:Roget_Thesaurus_Classification correcty, then the Article/Entry for corpse could have a link to WikiSaurus:corpse, where we list all the synonyms and antonyms we can think of.
Equally, if you used an alternative Thesaurus classification ( I have the Macquarie Concise Thesaurus), you could have its list of Key Words, where BODY is the key word rather than CORPSE. And under corpse you would also find a link to WikiSaurus:body. I'll try doing these up as an example.--Richardb 05:17, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)
See WikiSaurus:corpse for an example, with a link in Wiktionary:Roget_Thesaurus_Classification--Richardb 01:34, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)
By the way, perhaps Wiktionary:Roget_Thesaurus_Classification should be an Appendix, not a Wiktionary Internal item--Richardb 01:34, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Want WikiSaurus namespace to be included in the search[edit]

A number of words are now appearing in the WikiSaurus namepsace (OK, nearly all mine) But these words do not get picked up in Search. For example, if you search for the word ride you will get no indication of the sexual meaning of this word. You would, if the WikiSaurus entries showed up.
I know this is a big ask, but can someone please make this happen. Anyone know how to >--Richardb 01:24, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)


You've got the wrong idea of WikiSaurus. When you create a WikiSaurus entry for cougar. then you put the code [[category:WikiSaurus]] into that entry, and it will then automatically list in category:WikiSaurus:cougar

So, Im eagerly waiting for your WikiSaurus entry for cougar.--Richardb 23:35, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

seperate site?[edit]

I suggest that wikisaurus be a different site from wikitinary, or should at least be split when it becomes popular. - Jedi of redwall

Does this page really need to be marked a "protologism"? It's not in the main namespace, and it 's not a definition page.

Dirty Wikisaurus[edit]

I know Wikimedia projects are not censored, but is there a particular reason why so many of the Wikisaurus entries listed are sexual in nature? --Ginkgo100 16:07, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Because it has been used as a place to put the seemingly endless lists of slang terminology for various body parts and practices. It would be good if we had some ordinary entries, but no-one has ever added more than one or two. Robert Ullmann 16:10, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Dan' view[edit]

In my view, Wikisaurus is basically in a good shape. It can serve the role of one place for synonym sets of sorts, so that the synonym set does not need to be reentered into Wiktionary at every member of the set, and also updated accross all the member entries. In the mentioned role, it is a project complementary to Wiktionary, not a stand-alone project; in this role, it is already useful. If it grows, it can become useful even as a stand-alone project, but that is a far future. Wikisaurus can be formatted using templates, so that the ultimate appearance can be finetuned based on the changing community preference. Its structure can be kept simple, closely following the one of Wiktionary. External links to public domain thesauri present added value of the project; they decrease the click-distance from Wiktionary to those thesauri. The original interest of Wikisaurus contributors in human anatomy is understandable and can be simply ignored, with the attention going to creation of useful entries. --Dan Polansky 20:55, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Meaning of "thesaurus"[edit]

See also Wiktionary:Thesaurus considerations

It seems to me some confusion arises from confounding several different meanings of the word "thesaurus".

One is the common lexicographical one, related to Roget's thesaurus; and, say, The Penguin Thesaurus, which associates plain ordered lists of words to each entry without imposing any hierarchy on the entries.

From what I understand, the other meaning is from information science, computer science and semantic networks, where thesaurus maybe means (CMIIW) something similar to ontology: a network of formal refined semantic relationships, including subclass, superclass, part-whole, and the like, usable in machine reasoning.

Wikisaurus, as a companion to a dictionary, should IMHO be an instance of the lexicographical sense. That is, refined semantic relationships should be per default out of scope; they are present in Wiktionary anyway. Refined semantic relationships can be added as a bonus, but should be out of focus in the early creation phase. FWIU, this is the view championed by Amina.


  • Thesaurus
    • Lexicography
      • Purpose: Find the words with close and mildy remote meanings
      • Example: Roget's (hierarchy, meaning clusters)
      • Example: The Penguin Thesaurus (no hierarchy, each word has an entry, order of words matters)
      • Example: Moby Thesaurus II (no hierarchy, each word has an entry, order of words does not matter - alphabetical)
    • Information science
      • Purpose: Enable clear, highly accurate thought; support automated reasoning
      • Rich formal semantic information

This presentation is most probably inaccurate; I am not an expert. Thesaurus in information science also serves the choice of search terms and the structuring of information products, AFAIK.

--Dan Polansky 07:52, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Title of the project[edit]

The current title of the project is "Wikisaurus". Alternatives considered include "Wikithesaurus". I can also imagine "Wikitreasure" or "Wikinyms" of only 3 syllables (or "Wikinym", following "Wikiquote" instead of "Wikiquotes"); both allow for a future extension of the project into the semantic network direction. At some page that I have forgotten, someone mentioned that the title "Wikisaurus" reminds more of an extinct dinosaur than of a thesaurus, which impression I have too.

To do: find the discussions about title and link to them from here.

--Dan Polansky 10:40, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikisaurus bots[edit]

Out of interest, are there any bots that comb Wiktionary for words listed under the 'synonym' subheading, and then return the words and the title of the page that they're on? If not, I would think that would be a user-simple way of generating more quickly raw lists to edit into Wikisaurus entries. Reporting the number of hits per page may also help to automatically determine which is the main usage (subject to human check, of course, but similar to the tools suggested for finding the Primary Topic when creating disambiguation pages on Wikipedia).

Sasuke Sarutobi 16:32, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

The User:Connel MacKenzie/thesaurus is populated using a fully automatic script. --Dan Polansky 20:12, 5 March 2009 (UTC)


I think Wikisaurus does well without logo, being a part of Wiktionary rather than a stand-alone project. I have removed the logo from {{ws header}} several months ago. --Dan Polansky 15:33, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

The logo was there as a means of publcising the existence of Wiksaurus, in te hope of atracting more use and more contrbutions. So remving it seems a retrogade step, by someone who does not understand that publicity and marketing are as necessary to the success of these projects as the actual content contribution.--Richardb 00:21, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Addition Proposed[edit]

Additional Notes on Usage Wikisaurus also has been used as a means of accommodating many words, typically local slang, that are not properly verified. Thus a local slang word that may not be found in the main body of Wiktionary, may possibly be found by searching Wikisaurus, and its meaning deduced from its association with other words.

In some cases, the list of all unverified local slang words are so enormous that they swamp the more commonly known and used words. This is tackled in a number of ways:-

the page is structured to separate the more accepted, verified forms from other lesser known forms. A page may also be structured to separate the acceptable and vulgar terms, to avoid unfortunate errors of inappropriate use by people looking for a synonym. a /more page(eg: Wikisaurus:breasts/more) is used to hold the huge number of local slang "synonyms" a /translations page (eg:Wikisaurus:penis/translations) is used to hold the huge number of foreign language slang "synonyms" This type of usage of Wikisaurus has to some small extent defused the arguments and wheel wars over neologisms, usefully allowing unverified words in without conceding full Wiktionary status. A user may find the unverified neologism through a Wikisaurus search, and choose a more accepted or acceptable word from the "accepted", verified synonyms. --unsigned comment by Richardb

The main Wikisaurus pages should abide by the same CFI as the mainspace, while the "/more" subpages can remain unregulated. See the discussion at Beer Parlour under the title "Wikisaurus - inclusion criteria", started on 15 November 2009, and see this edit in which I explicitly state that "/more" subpages are unregulated. --Dan Polansky 12:48, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Inclusion criteria[edit]

I support and ask that the main Wikisaurus pages abide by the same CFI as the mainspace, while the "/more" subpages can remain unregulated.

In the past, there existed the page "Wiktionary:Wikisaurus/criteria", created by Richardb, which stated inclusion criteria for Wikisaurus that were different from those for the mainspace. The page "Wiktionary:Wikisaurus/criteria" was deleted on 18 April 2008 after it failed RFDO—requests for deletion/other. The failed RFDO item can be found in this revision of RFDO. The deleted page still has a talk page: Wiktionary talk:Wikisaurus/criteria.

On the talk page Wiktionary talk:Wikisaurus/criteria, TheDaveRoss and Vildricianus support that CFI should be the same in Wikisaurus as in the mainspace. In RFDO, this is supported by Connel MacKenzie, and in part by DAVilla who also allows the option of rewriting the page instead of deleting it.

Whether Wikisaurus should have the same inclusion criteria as the mainspace has been recently discussed at Beer Parlour: Wikisaurus - inclusion criteria, Nov 2009, in which the same CFI for Wikisaurus as for the mainspace is supported by Bequw, and also by Lmaltier who however deems current CFI too restrictive.

--Dan Polansky 11:51, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

The subpages "/more" such as "Wikisaurus:penis/more" have been discontinued and deleted per Wiktionary:Votes/2010-10/Deleting Wikisaurus slash-more pages. --Dan Polansky 20:11, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
The requirement that items in Wikisaurus have to be attested using WT:CFI#Attestation criteria has been confirmed via a vote: Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2013-09/Wikisaurus and attestation. --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:35, 30 October 2013 (UTC)


Troponymy is a specialization of hyponymy for verbs. Given that "to guttle" is more specific than "to eat", "to guttle" is a troponym of "to eat". The opposite of "troponym" is called "hypernym" by WordNet, a project that uses the term "troponym". I recommend to dispense with the term "troponym" altogether, using the term "hyponym" instead. Each verb has a corresponding noun that denotes the verb's action, and the relation between the nouns is called hyponymy anyway: "guttling" is a hyponym of "eating". There is no dedicated term for hyponymy for adjectives as opposed to nouns, so there does not need to be a dedicated term for verbs either, especially given the dedicated term has no dedicated antonym but uses the generic "hypernym". --Dan Polansky 09:41, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

@AdamBMorgan: What do you think of the proposal above, that is, abandon "troponym" and only use "hyponym"? --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:57, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
@Dan Polansky: I am OK with using "hyponym" for all parts of speech. I've used "troponym" as it seemed to be the standard but even then there are a lot of cases where I've forgotten that verbs use a different term and I've had to correct "hyponyms" to "troponyms" later. Just using "hyponym" in general would be easier. - AdamBMorgan (talk) 13:53, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
@AdamBMorgan: I went ahead and changed all 34 occurrences of Troponyms in headings to Hyponyms, via DPMaid user account. Wiktionary:Thesaurus/Format does not list Troponyms as one of the headings, so no update is required there. --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:05, 26 November 2017 (UTC)

Why Wikisaurus[edit]

Perhaps this is addressed somewhere, but I haven't found it yet. I find myself wondering what the need for a separate wiki-thesaurus is. The separation expressly produces duplicate entries on any given word and complicates the effort of finding a good word for a given subject. The current construction is difficult to navigate, I don't know if a given word has a wikisaurus entry even if it has a Wiktionary entry. Dictionaries (at least the dictionaries I'm accustomed to) generally include synonyms/antonyms as part of their entries and the use of Semantic wiki should make that even easier. Even Wikisaurus itself, with proper template formatting, doesn't contain anything that couldn't be neatly added to the mainspace entries. I don't mean to denigrate or minimize the work being done at this project, but it seems like an unnecessary division of projects that creates unnecessary work for editors (you don't need to specify that you use the same inclusion criteria if you're no forking the project) and makes finding good information more difficult for users (it took me a while to realize that wikisaurus even exists). Darker Dreams 07:20, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

My reasons why it is worthwhile to have Wikisaurus are spelled out here: User:Dan_Polansky/Wikisaurus#Benefits_over_the_mainspace. --Dan Polansky 10:14, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
I started to try a point by point reply, but that huge block of unformatted text is not particularly easy to parse, so I'll just leave it that I disagree. As a user, having the thesaurus (synonym) functions separated out makes wiktionary less useful and usable for me. I'm also disinclined to put energy into working on what looks like a restart of the mainspace project. Honestly, the wiktionary articles are more akin to what I'm accustomed to from dictionaries (a definition and some related synonyms. Add a pronunciation and some example uses and you're there) than the mainspace's articles which are almost entirely focused on the word's association with other languages. Darker Dreams 21:14, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
What you are referring to as a "huge block of unformatted text" is a paragraph that has 640 words. The only way in which it is unformatted is in that it does not use typographical bullet points; instead, it uses natural language keywords such as "First", "Second", and "Third". If you are serious about discussing why a thesaurus is better hosted in the main namespace, you can select just one of the 7 reasons that I have listed, and discuss that one.
You are not being asked to put energy into Wikisaurus; you are putting close to no energy into Wiktionary anyway with your 16 mainspace edits since 26 April 2006.
What you are accustomed to from other dictionaries are lists of synonyms associated with entries rather than a full-fledged thesaurus. For an example of a full-fledged thesaurus, see Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases by Peter Mark Roget from 1911, linked to from Wiktionary:Public_domain_sources#Roget's_thesaurus_1911. Wikisaurus does not prevent lists of synonyms from being listed in the main namespace, though. --Dan Polansky 12:32, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree. Any advantages that exist in having separate Wikisaurus entries for words is outweighed by the advantages of making the thesaurus entries part of the main entries. Each main entry lists translations of the word; why shouldn't it also list synonyms, etc.? Furthermore I had no idea Wikisaurus existed until I came to this page, and probably never would have had I not gone here. Kraŭs (talk) 02:44, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree that it should be in the main term, just like translations. I'll format the unformatted text so we can have a good discussion, and then we should bring this to vote.Pashute (talk) 16:04, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
It seems its been formatted, but still lengthy. Here are the claims in short, lets discuss it in next section. Pashute (talk) 16:51, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Inline Wiktionary thesaurus (inside terms) vs. Wikisaurus[edit]

As listed by User:Dan_Polansky/Wikisaurus#Benefits_over_the_mainspace

  • 1. Need for separation from synonyms, antonyms etc. - The terms as they are defined with synonyms antonyms etc. are not enough. A separate section or namespace is needed.
  • 2. Easier on editor, without dictionary context.
  • 3. Ease of maintenance - automatically linking from one ws:term to another ws:term as in translations is easy.
  • 4. Ease of Use problem with collapsible sections - in order to get to the thesaurus you'll have to collapse scroll down and open the collapsed thesaurus section. Not intuitive or easy.
  • 5. Scattered thesaurus leads to out of date info - Better to have everything in "one place"
  • 6. Easy moving of semantic clusters
  • 7. Linking to non wiktionary terms

My reply to these is:

  • 1. Separation from the linguistic and wiktionary sections - granted. But no reason for wikisaurus. Just a Thesaurus section.
  • 2. Easier on editor? Why. Give the editor the possibility to add remove and sort thesaurus terms at will, in its section. A user interface could be developed similar to that for the translation interlinks, and users (not editors) could even vote the usage of a thesaurus term up or down, moving it forward or backwards in the current context. This will create a true mapping between all entries.
  • 3. Ease of maintenance - only if there are less terms, and all connected terms are kept with same order of importance. But when you link from animal back to cat, I don't think it will be in the same order as from cat to animal.
  • 4. Ease of use - It can show up on the search engines just the same. Probably. Maybe I'm wrong. So when you link to the wiktionary on the search engine, if you chose the thesaurus section, your taken to it, open already.
  • 5. You mean that if I update Cat, the Animal thesaurus may be missing something? I don't think so.
  • 6. Easy moving of semantic clusters. - copy and paste?
  • 7. Linking to non wiktionary terms - Well your right. But since your not going to explain the term, leave those terms out altogether as links, and keep them as 'thesaurus terms', or as wikipedia terms or even as plain text. When searching for "alcoholic beverage" you'll find it in the thesaurus definitions of wine, beer and methanol. So what's the problem?

it would immediately make wiktionary move up on web searches, help millions of users, cause more terms to be entered, and most importantly, a Wikisaurus can automatically be created from that information, so any benefits of the wikisaurus are preserved.Pashute (talk) 16:57, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Dan noted that I misrepresented his discussion in my summary, that the vote is too preliminary, and that it would be preferable to discuss his claims one by one.
The proposal here is to have a new 'Thesaurus' section in Wiktionary for each definition of each term. It will be open to terms and phrases not necessarily linked to Wiktionary, and will have a "user vote" option in order to create a "web cloud" for the thesaurus links.
Following this, as Dan requested on my talk page, the proper location for this discussion should be the Witionary Beer Parlour.
I ask Dan to please revoke the vote in the next section and we'll continue the discussion in the main Wiktionary Beer Parlor. Pashute (talk) 10:10, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Vote for inline thesaurus section on each term[edit]

  1. Support - as stated above Pashute (talk) 16:57, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
    • You have 1 edit in the mainspace. Your responses above to my reasoning are as substandard, ignoring most of the substance of my reasoning. Your boldfaced summaries of what my reasoning is are misrepresentations. If you want to have a serious discussion, pick one or two items of my list, and have a serious look at what they say. Then try to come up with a reasoned and substantive refutation. Then I will be able to response to it. In your response, there really is close to nothing to respond to. --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:09, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
    • Wikisaurus is not preventing you from expanding lists of synonyms in the mainspace. There are lists of synonyms in the mainspace; check e.g. cat#Synonyms. I have never removed synonyms from the mainspace only because they were already in Wikisaurus or because I was about to add them to Wikisaurus. I think I have actually rarely ever removed any synonyms from the mainspace at all.
    • Discoverability of Wikisaurus: Wikisaurus is linked from synonyms sections of the mainspace, a natural place to look for synonyms. --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:17, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
  2. Vote cancelled, as per diff. --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:01, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Coordinate terms[edit]

I find the section "coordinate terms" rather useless for most Wikisaurus pages. Listing "fish", "amphibian", "reptile", and "bird" as coordinate terms in WS:mammal is fairly pointless, as they are already listed at WS:vertebrate (one click away from WS:mammal, in its "hypernyms" section), and as the practice leads to repetition of the five coordinate terms (including "mammal") on each term's page. The repetition gets much worse with larger lists of coordinate terms. Some more explanation follows.

The section "coordinate terms" is occasionally used in the mainspace. "Coordinate terms" are those terms that are siblings in the hyponymy tree (or direct acyclic graph); they are on approximately the same level of detail or specificity and they share a near hypernym. Thus, "mammal" has "fish", "amphibian", "reptile", and "bird" as coordinate terms with respect to "vertebrate". The term "arthropod" is not a coordinate term of "mammal", as it is separated from it by the vertebrate-invertebrate division. However, "arthropod" can be seen as a coordinate term of "mammal", if the vertebrate-invertebrate distinction is ignored, and both are seen as hyponymic descendants of "animal" that have approximately the same level of specificity. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:45, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

save raw data, into this thesaurus?[edit]

some "incomplete" "dirty" raw information is getting swiftly deducted on wikipedia. Those data-varieties like partly fuzzy knowledge from farmers and housewifes could be integrated in such a thesaurus like this one. What do you think? save raw data at all costSimon Jäkle (talk) 13:13, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

Name Change:[edit]

Name should be changed to "Wiksaurus [ˈwik.saʊ.ɹʌs] --" I have to admit, when I read first "Wikisaurus," I was expecting a dinosaur. If Wiktionary's name was "Wikitionary [wiki̩ː.ʃʌn.ɛɹi]," as I first thought, then "Wikisaurus" would be acceptable.

StarDict format[edit]

Hi all,

Do we have Wikisaurus available in stardict format for offline use?

--Gryllida 01:41, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

404 links[edit]


Of these links [here https://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=Wiktionary:Wikisaurus&action=edit&section=10],

The external links are 404.

--Gryllida 01:41, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

Beer parlour convo[edit]

--Barytonesis (talk) 16:24, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

Vote page[edit]

Could someone please redirect this page to Wiktionary:Thesaurus (currently a redirection itself)? --Barytonesis (talk) 18:12, 12 October 2017 (UTC)

Done, see this discussion. --Barytonesis (talk) 10:01, 11 November 2017 (UTC)

Adding other languages[edit]

Languages such as Chinese, specifically Mandarin, have lately improved a great deal their entries, yet the Thesaurus project seems to be of little interest, so I'd like to know whether there's a specific reason for this. --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:50, 9 February 2018 (UTC)

@Backinstadiums There is not, except that noone has bothered to create them yet. Also, there are several models for what title to give the pages, e.g. WS:Danish/furthermore, WS:da:beautiful. Most entries currently existing do not specify the language in the title, and for non-English entries the title is usually a native word, which was discussed here. Don't let that dissuade you from contributing to the thesaurus, though.__Gamren (talk) 20:48, 12 May 2018 (UTC)

Language categorization[edit]

{{ws header}} now accepts a lang parameter, which categorizes into [Category:XX thesaurus entries]. Disagree on implementation (e.g. category name)?__Gamren (talk) 20:54, 12 May 2018 (UTC)