This is the main project page of Wikisaurus, a Wiktionary subproject and a wiki namespace aiming at creating a thesaurus, a dictionary of synonyms, antonyms and further semantically related terms such as hyponyms, hypernyms, meronyms and holonyms.

New to Wikisaurus?

Please contribute your own Wikisaurus entries, or add to the existing Wikisaurus entries.


Chunked purpose
  • Purpose:
    • To help people find words that they
      • can't recall or
      • don't know
    • To help people explore the network of words
  • Semantic relations:
    • Synonymy – same or similar meaning
    • Antonymy – opposite meaning
    • Hyponymy – narrower meaning, subclass
    • Hypernymy – broader meaning, superclass
    • Being an instance – being an example of the class, set membership
    • Meronymy – part, such as wheel of a car
    • Holonymy – whole, such as car of a wheel
  • Users:
    • Writers
    • Managers
    • Contributors to wikis
    • Bloggers
    • Writers of love letters
    • Journal writers

The purpose of Wikisaurus is to serve the role of an electronic thesaurus—a dictionary of synonyms, near-synonyms and antonyms, and near-antonyms, but also of other semantically related terms such as hyponyms, hypernyms, meronyms, holonyms.

The purpose of such a thesaurus in general is mainly to help anyone who writes for living or fun—writers, managers, contributors to wikis, bloggers, and writers of love letters—to find words they don't recall or even know when they recall words that are semantically related to the sought word. In general, anyone to whom the choice of words matters can benefit from a thesaurus, especially one linked to a dictionary providing the definitions.

Added value of Wikisaurus is its Wiktionary integration—it links to and is linked from Wiktionary.


Candidate model thesauri include Roget's thesaurus, and, say, The Penguin Thesaurus. The two follow different design principles.


Whether Wikisaurus at en.wiktionary.org should contain entries for other languages than English was disputed. Entries for foreign languages could look like Wikisaurus:příbuzný and Wikisaurus:juoppo. An alternative naming of the entries is "Wikisaurus:cs:příbuzný" and "Wikisaurus:fi:juoppo", modeled on the naming of topic categories. See also Wikisaurus_talk:juoppo and BP: Wikisaurus - non-English entries, Mar 2009.

Languages that have at least one Wikisaurus entry include Czech: WS:příbuzný, Finnish: WS:juoppo, French: WS:chat, Hindi: WS:मनुष्य, Polish: WS:gruchot, Portuguese: WS:duradouro, and Telugu: WS:కుక్క.


Formatting is specified and discussed at:

Example entries:


The inclusion criteria for Wikisaurus entries are the same as those for the mainspace: Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion.

Additionally, all items in lists of synonyms, antonyms, hyponyms etc. on Wikisaurus pages are required to be attested, using the same attestation criteria as the mainspace.​


Lists of templates:

Template naming:

  • Use "ws " prefix. Basis for decision: Grease pit discussion of July 2008. (Past prefixes: "wse-", "wikisaurus-", "saurus-".)


Template Example Note
  • {{ws|beer|An alcoholic fermented malt drink.}}
  • {{ws|beer|*}}
  • {{ws|beer}}
The second entry is a lazy one. The third one shows no tooltip, but also does not make it clear that one is missing.
To be put around a list of {{ws}} entries. Currently formats the list as a 3-column one.


Entered at the very top of the entry. When without parameter, determines the headword automatically.
{{comment-link}} Deprecated in Wikisaurus. Preferred template: {{ws}}
{{R:Roget 1911|beauty}} beauty” in Roget's Thesaurus, T. Y. Crowell Co., 1911.
{{ws sense|glad; in a good mood}} Sense: glad; in a good mood Used after the third level heading for the part of speech.


Linking from mainspace to Wikisaurus entries:

  • Place "* See also [[Wikisaurus:headword]]" to "Synonyms" section, or to "Hyponyms" section if the Wikisaurus entry contains mainly hyponyms.
  • Especially for Wikisaurus entries featuring mostly synonyms, it is good to add a link to the Wikisaurus entry from all the mainspace entries for the synonyms, so that the user knows that there is a Wikisaurus entry when visiting the mainspace.


Since its inception in 2004, the project is in an embryo stage. The formatting is in flux, the entries are few -- 275, so are the contributors. --Dan Polansky 12:38, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

As of the beginning of September 2009, Wikisaurus has around 800 entries, some of which feature hyponyms, hypernyms, meronyms and holonyms. Almost all entries follow a unified format.

As of October 2015, there are about 1400 entries.


Title: The current title of the project is "Wikisaurus". Alternatives considered include "Wikithesaurus".

Spelling: The current spelling is Wikisaurus with lowercase 's'. In the past, it must have been WikiSaurus with capital 'S' at some point.

Logo: The past, currently disabled, logo:  .

This logo   was proposed here in December 2006.

To do: add links to discussions about logo.

Online thesauriEdit

Recent changesEdit


See alsoEdit


Highlighted subpages:

Project subpages:

To doEdit

Things to do:

All entriesEdit

Lists of all Wikisaurus entries:


Discussions about Wikisaurus are scattered across various pages. In the future, they should better take place in Beer Parlour, a general policy discussion room.

Pages with discussions:

For more discussions, see #Beer parlour.

Beer parlourEdit

Discussions about Wikisaurus at Beer parlour:

The following list is highly incomplete.

See also search for "Wikisaurus" in the archives of Beer parlour.


An index to this page: