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Artha ~ The Open Thesaurus is a cross-platform open source thesaurus based on WordNet released under the GPL v2 licence. This Wiki is its homepage.


In Tamil (அருத்தம்) Arutham implies meaning, definition, reason, implication or material. Hence this name for the thesaurus.

Also in Sanskrit (Devanagari: अर्थ) Artha means purpose, cause, motive, meaning and notion.


Developed and Maintained by Sundaram Ramaswamy <legends2k [at] yahoo [dot] com>

"When I started using GNU/Linux (Ubuntu, to be precise), I was surprised to know that there wasn't a free and open thesaurus that's as handy & light as the proprietary ones available on the Windows platform. Even more, they're all using Princeton's (free) WordNet under the hood, while charging for their application; WordNet's name appears only in the licence of their About boxes. I enquired about the availablity of such an application in the Ubuntu Forums if it's already there (post can be seen here). No reply came; I felt having such an application might be very useful for the free/open-source software community and thus Artha."


WordNet is an excellent thesaurus database and a work of art by Cognitive Science Laboratory of Princeton University. But WordNet in itself is difficult for the masses to grasp, with its minimalistic WordNet Browser and lot of jargon. Hence a need for a simple and handy GUI arose. This led to the birth of Artha, a new thesaurus over WordNet, for easy access and to improve the usability of WordNet. Nevertheless, without WordNet Artha would not have been possible. Many thanks to George A. Miller and Cognitive Science Laboratory, Princeton University for giving such a vast, comprehend-able corpus for free, which can be used for correlated study of the English language and its nuances.

Pidgin - The Instant Messanger was the prime source of inspiration to create a cross-platform application and in choosing GTK+. Its ease of use and consistency across different operating systems was a compelling drive.


Thanks to all direct (people who wrote WordNet, GCC, GLib, GTK+, dbus, libnotify, enchant, etc.) and indirect contributors (my folks :) for their support and to my friends:

(for his valuable inputs)

(for his help on hosting this Wiki)

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