Thesauruses are an important tool in any student’s arsenal. They can elevate a child’s vocabulary while helping them find just the right word for their writing assignment. Many of them include extra sections with helpful hints for writing or grammar as well. Don’t know whether to use our or are? You can find that answer in a thesaurus too! Some students and teachers may prefer a hard-copy thesaurus while others may prefer an online version that can be accessed on a number of devices. Finding just the right thesaurus for kids of different ages can be a hassle, but we’ve taken the guesswork out of it for you. Check out our list of the best online and physical thesauruses for kids of all ages.
(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)
An Illustrated Thesaurus
This thesaurus for kids is the sister book to DK’s Children’s Illustrated Dictionary. With more than 4,000 entries, this thesaurus will easily help expand students’ vocabulary. We especially love the mix of photography and illustrations that add to the visual allure of this fun thesaurus.
Buy it: DK Children’s Illustrated Thesaurus at Amazon
A Thesaurus for Middle School
While we think this thesaurus would be good even for high school students or adults, it is a perfect thesaurus for fifth through eighth graders. This thesaurus is perfect for our modern world since it includes updated vocabulary pertaining to social media and technology.
Buy it: Merriam-Webster’s Intermediate Thesaurus at Amazon
A Pocket-Sized Thesaurus
Merriam-Webster make some of the best dictionaries and thesauruses on the market, but the full-size options aren’t always convenient for on-the-go. This little pocket-size version will fit perfectly in your high school student’s backpack!
Buy it: Merriam-Webster’s Pocket Thesaurus at Amazon
A New and Updated Thesaurus
What’s better than a thesaurus? A thesaurus that also features four pages of back matter that includes information on how words evolve!
Buy it: Scholastic Student Thesaurus at Amazon
A Well-Spoken Thesaurus
If you have a teenager interested in creative writing, this is the thesaurus for you! In addition to providing guidance on how to better phrase things, it also gives examples from actual authors.
Buy it: The Well-Spoken Thesaurus at Amazon
A Thesaurus for Grades 7-12
This thesaurus boasts over 6,000 main entries and over 70,000 synonyms inside! We also love that each entry includes a sample sentence demonstrating the best usage of the word.
Buy it: The American Heritage Student Thesaurus at Amazon
Synonyms, Antonyms, and Homonyms
This is another handy pocket-sized thesaurus. We love that it teaches kids the difference between commonly confused homonyms like our and are or principal and principle.
Buy it: Scholastic Pocket Dictionary of Synonyms, Antonyms, and Homonyms at Amazon
A First Thesaurus
We just love the idea of using a cute character like Thesaurus Rex to teach kids synonyms for some common words. Each page features him in a variety of entertaining situations while sharing synonyms for the activity he is doing.
Buy it: Thesaurus Rex at Amazon
A Biography About Words
In addition to being the founder of the thesaurus, Peter Mark Roget was a physician, theologian, and lexicographer. While not technically a thesaurus, this beautifully illustrated and written book will teach children about using a thesaurus as well as the value in finding just “the right word.”
Buy it: The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus at Amazon
The Original Roget’s Thesaurus
If you’re looking for the best thesaurus for kids, you will definitely want to check out the world’s bestselling thesaurus. We would advise against using this thesaurus for kids younger than high school though as it might be a bit dense for them.
Buy it: Roget’s International Thesaurus at Amazon
A Children’s Thesaurus by Oxford
This is another great thesaurus option from a truly reputable name. Students can find any synonym they need and then turn to the included homework supplement for writing tips.
Buy it: Oxford Children’s Thesaurus at Amazon
This well-reviewed thesaurus-dictionary is easy enough for even elementary school–aged children to use. We love that this single book will prove equally useful as a dictionary and a thesaurus!
Buy it: The Clear and Simple Thesaurus Dictionary at Amazon
A Free, Straightforward Online Thesaurus
This website provides users with a straightforward thesaurus—just type in your word and then read through the provided list of synonyms. We also love the Synonym of the Day and daily crossword puzzle on this page.
Try it: Thesaurus.com
Merriam-Webster Online Thesaurus
Tried and true, Merriam-Webster is one of the best names in thesauruses and dictionaries, and this online version is certainly no exception. Expand your vocabulary with the fun Word of the Day feature.
Try it: Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus
An Online Picture Thesaurus
This is a perfect online thesaurus for young children since it includes photos and illustrations for entries. There is even an “add a word” feature where you can email email@example.com to let them know you want them to add your entry!
Try it: Kid Thesaurus
Collins Online Thesaurus
This site is so much more than a thesaurus. It includes a dictionary, a translator, games, and more!
Try it: Collins English Thesaurus
All the synonyms you could ever need are just one click away with this easy-to-use online thesaurus. Another great feature is that it links directly to the Macmillan online dictionary.
Try it: Macmillan Thesaurus
A Thesaurus Plus More
This is a very thorough thesaurus for kids of all ages. While you’re already on the Fact Monster page, check out some of their other valuable tools like an atlas and an almanac.
Try it: Fact Monster Thesaurus
A Powerful Thesaurus
This thesaurus for kids contains helpful sections like definitions, sentences, antonyms, idioms—the list goes on and on. Check it out for yourself!
Try it: Power Thesaurus
A Free Online Tool
We love that in addition to providing a long list of word options for your entry, this online thesaurus also includes definitions for each synonym.
Try it: Your Dictionary Thesaurus
What are your favorite reference books for kids? Share your ideas in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Looking for more reference books for young readers? Check out our list of dictionaries for kids.