Thesaurus Published for the First Time


On April 29, 1852, Peter Mark Roget published his Thesaurus for the first time. He called it “Dr. Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases classified and arranged to facilitate the Expression of Ideas and Assist in Literary Composition”.

Born in England in 1779, Peter Mark Roget grew up to have a career as a medical doctor. Even with the career, Roget was fascinated by words. He started compiling words, their words and uses. By 1805 he had quite a few words written down. He organized them by ideas rather than alphabetically.

Still, he did not publish his words. He waited until after retirement. Then, he put it together for publication. It was a hit. Roget continued to publish and update his thesaurus until his death. Then his son and grandson kept it going. Finally, they sold the rights to the publishers in the 1950s. For many of us, the thesaurus was necessary for writing. Even today we use it just in digital format and this all came about because of one man’s fascination with words.

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