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Reverse electronic dictionary using synonyms to expand search capabilities

Image Number 2 for United States Patent #5649221.

A method for the retrieval from an electronic dictionary of a word which is known or believed to exist but can not be brought to mind or a word that is thought may exist, to replace a pedestrian word or phrase. A complete thesaurus and dictionary are needed to establish numeric codes. The numeric codes designate synonym groups and are assigned to thesaurus entries and are thereafter transferred to corresponding dictionary entries and their definition words. The synonym groups can be expanded to include related words and words that are not technically synonyms. Words having no synonyms are assigned unique numeric codes or can be included within the synonym groups of one or more related words. The user enters one or more search words which are thought may exist in the definition of the word sought. After locating the numeric code(s) for the search word(s) the dictionary is searched for words having those numeric code(s) within their definitions. As each of such words is found it is displayed as a candidate for the word sought. At any time after a candidate is displayed the user can view the full dictionary listing for that word. The numeric codes are internal to the computer and are not visible to the user.

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