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User Help > User FAQ > What Is the Thesaurus?

What Is the Thesaurus?

In the Coveo Platform, the thesaurus is a list of synonyms, related, or equivalent words used to expand queries. It works by transparently adding expressions to your search.

Example: When the word knowledge is added to the thesaurus as a synonym of intelligence, a query for knowledge automatically searches for knowledge OR intelligence (although only knowledge appears in the search box).


  • The CES index thesaurus is originally empty and must be populated by your Coveo administrator (see Adding Thesaurus Entries From the Administration Tool) or (see Creating or Modifying a Thesaurus XML File).

  • By default, the thesaurus applies only to free text queries. A Coveo administrator can also apply it to field queries (see Importing a Thesaurus XML File in CES).

  • CES 7.0.8225– (March 2016) The thesaurus is deactivated when a query contains the NOT or the NEAR operator.

    Example: When the word bob is set as a synonym of robert in the thesaurus, a query for bob becomes bob OR robert. However, when the query is bob NOT arthur, the query is not expanded and remains bob NOT arthur.

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