Mobysaurus is a free English thesaurus and dictionary that runs in the background and be accessed inside any application from the system tray or using a hotkey.
It resides locally on your machine, which means that it can be used offline, and integrates an impressive range of references including Roget’s Thesaurus, WordNet, GCDIE Dictionary, and Moby Thesaurus II.
I am quite impressed by the range of features that Mobysaurus has to offer. These include over 30,000 headwords and 2,500,000 synonyms, cross-referencing, wildcard Search, extra online references, the ability to flag favorite searches, and a fully traceable search history that Mobysaurus saves.
Mobysaurus comes with a competent tabbed interface. There are five main tabs within the main UI: Find Synonyms, Find Synonyms Headwords, Suggest Headwords, Find Online, and History and Favorites. I am somewhat unclear as to whether there are sufficient differences between the three main tabs; these seem to contain pretty much the same info with the middle one (Find Synonymous headwords) the most useful. A single, user configurable tab would have been better. As it is the three tabs seem spammy and redundant.
Wordweb: Wordweb is a sperate downloadable resource that Mobysaurus can access. I would recommend that you download and install it alongside Mobysaurus. Wordweb provides a thesaurus (synonyms) resource as well, but more importantly adds a dictionary resource to the mix. You can configure Mobysaurus such that once in it you can double click on any term and launch Wordweb, and this works really well.
Online Resouces: Mobysaurus also provides the ability to quickly search online resources from within the Mobysaurus application. Pre-defined resources include Wikipedia, Wordzilla, Google, The Free Dictionary, Merriam Webster, Thesaurus.com, Dictionary.com, MSN Encarta, and a few others. The net result is a program that feels like a powerful one-stop-shop for word references.
Having used Cleverkeys, another on-demand application-independent thesaurus/dictionary that draws on online resources, I have found that it is much more practical to have a locally installed thesaurus than an internet based one. If you are connected, after all, then you can ultimately find the references you are looking for in a pinch, with or without a handy reference application a few clicks away.
Mobysaurus is definitely my reference tool of choice, and I highly recommend it.
Version tested: 1.0.55
Compatibility: WinAll with .NET Framework 2.0.
download here the latest version (this program is registerware; you have to obtain a free license key by providing your info).