When The Oxford Thesaurus: American Edition appeared in 1992, it was hailed as a milestone in the evolution of the thesaurus. It rapidly established itself as the most authoritative, precise, up-to-date, and helpful synonym guide available. Now this superb volume has been condensed, producing an ideal reference for those who need a more portable and affordable thesaurus, one that is quick and handy to use--The Oxford Desk Thesaurus.
As in the parent volume, the main entries are selected for their frequency in the language and are arranged alphabetically so that you can instantly turn to the word you have in mind. If an entry has more than one sense, the ODT shows the synonyms by group. For instance, under the headword order, those synonyms meaning "arrangement" are in one group, those meaning "command" are in another; within a group, synonyms are listed according to frequency of use (e.g., command, directive, edict, behest, ukase, fiat, etc.). Each sense group in an entry is illustrated with a sample sentence, so you can be sure you are making your selection from the right list of alternatives. A unique cross-referencing system clearly shows which synonyms in a list are themselves main entries. Labels identify those words that are used in special ways--not only colloquial, taboo, archaic, technical, or slang expressions, but also American and British usage--so that writers can avoid errors of diction (such as using colloquial words in formal writing). Finally, for those desiring a richer vocabulary, Urdang supplements the standard synonyms with unusual words and phrases.
Concise and easy to use, up to date and authoritative, The Oxford Desk Thesaurus is ideal for home or office, for busy executives on the go, and for students, too. It is an essential tool for anyone who wants to write with more variety, color, and precision. [via]