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Descriptionary: A Thematic Dictionary
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Descriptionary: A Thematic Dictionary

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  132 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Paperback, Second Edition, 560 pages
Published 2000 by Facts on File (first published 1992)
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Aug 20, 2008 Janrae rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any one who works with language
Descriptionary is a handy book book of lists with definition. I found things like the lists of dogs, horses, and animals very useful. I had not known a lot of the proper terms to describe them.

A word list example from the dog's section includes:
Apple head

They described my dog Levy very well. However, the sections on architecture and related subjects I found confusing and unclear.

Nevertheless, I feel I got value for my purchase.

Sep 05, 2008 Ron rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers
Recommended to Ron by: brother-in-law
Shelves: writing
The thematic arrangement helps readers who aren't sure what word they seek browse through the subject, like a thesaurus. So far I haven't found any terrible gaffs.
Ronald Wise
This book certainly was not a compelling cover-to-cover read. The effort to group words by topic to facilitate finding a word from its meaning was intriguing. And I did enjoy learning the different words used over the centuries by mariners and the fashion conscious.

Another useful area would have been regarding modern techology, but this book, already nearly ten years old, had many obsolete definitions, some of which were changing the day it was published.

While appreciating the author's attempt t
It is no secret that I love dictionaries and here is another to add to that list. I simply adore this book and it is getting my highest complement by being put on permanent duty on my desk. The only reason it missed 5 stars is that it lacks etymologies.
I have a worn copy of this, though I remember the day I bought it brand new. Smudges and stains adorn many of the pages. The binding may be a little cracked and the cover has faded over time. Next to Roget's Thesaurus this may be one of the more well read books I have on my shelf. My only regret is that there is to my knowledge, not a follow up book with even more categories or present categories found here not fleshed out further.
Every writer should own a copy.
This handy dandy book was tailor made for a writer like me whose weakness is description. This book is for someone who knows what what they want to say but can't think of the words to describe it. Call it a backwards dictionary where instead of having the word then the description, you have descriptions then the word. I highly recommend it.
Bill Tillman
Mar 01, 2010 Bill Tillman rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to write
Recommended to Bill by: Writing Instructor
Shelves: on-writing, reference
I am a writer and I am in love with this book! Everytime I get stuck and I cannot think of what something is called I thumb through this and in seconds I find the "correct" name of the object I am trying to describe. It is so worth every penny you pay!
...this ingenious combination of reverse dictionary and thesaurus supplies thousands of descriptions of terms that are organized into 22 broad and 194 narrower categories, so that you won't have to use words like whatchamacallit again.
Kathy Reinhart

Descriptionary is another take on your every day dictionary. I find that when presented with 'the same' information in a new light, it lends new ideas to my work. Very satisfied.
Sep 08, 2013 Kelli marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
I love the idea of a thematic dictionary . . . though I don't actually use it all that often . . .
Nov 21, 2008 Sally marked it as to-read-library-has  ·  review of another edition
dang! It's reference, so I can't check it out!
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Goodreads Librari...: Descriptionary 3 20 Jan 21, 2015 08:21AM  
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