Thursday, January 31, 2013

Run (Total, Smuggle, Liquified ...) to the Thesaurus

I'm the first to admit that I adore the thesaurus ... or more specifically ... because there are many times I just can't think up an alternate word. I'm a stickler for variety, and hate to use the same word repeatedly on a page. It truly is boring for the reader, and you don't want a disinterested reader. Sure, there are times when I purposely use repetition of a word to drive home a point, or if my main character is in distress and thinking the same thought over and over. But, that's an intentional decision.

I recently bounced over to my Thesaurus tab (yes, it's always open in my browser when I'm editing) and saw that there is one word with 179 entries.

The word?


Here are just a few of those synonyms ...

verb (used without object)
1. to go quickly by moving the legs more rapidly than at a walk and in such a manner that for an instant in each step all or both feet are off the ground.
2. to move with haste; act quickly: Run upstairs and get the iodine.
3. to depart quickly; take to flight; flee or escape: to run from danger.

verb (used with object)
53. to move or run along (a surface, way, path, etc.): Every morning he ran the dirt path around the reservoir to keep in condition. She ran her fingers over the keyboard.
54. to traverse (a distance) in running: He ran the mile in just over four minutes.
55. to perform, compete in, or accomplish by or as by running: to run a race; to run an errand.

98. an act or instance, or a period of running: a five-minute run before breakfast.
99. a hurrying to or from some point, as on an errand: a run to reach the store before it closes.
100. a fleeing, especially in great haste; flight: a run from the police who were hot on his trail.
101. a running pace: The boys set out at a run.

And the list goes on!

Do you use the thesaurus? Any other writing tools always at your fingertips?

Image Source: SXC


  1. Said is always being looked up on mine!!

  2. I love it too. I especially like it when I don't have quite the right word. Like with "run," it might not convey the sense of urgency I'm looking for, but an alternate work like "flee" might. Sometimes it's just fun to keep following a trail from one word to the next and see how many different ideas for words or concepts there are out there. (Hmmm... that last thought made me sound like a nerd.)

  3. I don't know what happened to the thesaurus I used to have. Usually I use the OED or atlas more often when writing, or an online dictionary of historical slang. My favorite thesaurus find remains xanthochroid, a fancy way to say blonde or yellow-haired.

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