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OpenThesaurus is a multilingual thesaurus maintained collaboratively as an open web project . The content is published under a free license. OpenThesaurus is known for its use in the applications , LibreOffice , KWord , LyX and Apple Lexicon .


In addition to the German vocabulary , there is also a Greek , a Dutch , a Norwegian , a Polish , a Portuguese , a Slovak , a Slovenian and a Spanish version available. The German version contains over 280,000 synonym relationships. In addition to synonyms, some taxonomic relationships are also recorded.

Availability and processing

The contents of OpenThesaurus are published under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). The database can be searched on the website via a web frontend and complete database copies are also distributed. With a free user account, every registered user of the website has the opportunity to add or change entries. Changes are checked by an administrator. You do not need to register to search for synonyms .


The trigger for the OpenThesaurus project was the emergence of in 2002, which lacked the StarOffice thesaurus for licensing reasons. OpenThesaurus closed this gap by importing possible German synonyms from a freely accessible German / English dictionary and improving and updating them via a web application.

Since version 2.0.3, the OpenThesaurus has been included in the installation package and no longer needs to be installed separately. The project was also widely used from macOS 10.5 onwards with a look-up function from Apple Lexicon, in which the data from OpenThesaurus can be integrated as a plug-in.


  • Daniel Naber: OpenThesaurus . An open German word network. In: Language technology, mobile communication and linguistic resources: Contributions to the GLDV conference 2005 in Bonn . Peter Lang Verlag, Frankfurt March 2005, p. 422-433 ( [PDF]).
  • Christian M. Meyer, Iryna Gurevych: Worth Its Weight in Gold or Yet Another Resource . A Comparative Study of Wiktionary, OpenThesaurus and GermaNet. In: Computational Linguistics and Intelligent Text Processing . tape 6008 . Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, March 2010, p. 38–49 , doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-642-12116-6_4 (English, [PDF]).

Web links