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THESAURUS (2)  (Preferred term)

A controlled vocabulary designed primarily to assist searching in postcoordinate information retrieval systems. The terms in a thesaurus are formally organised to avoid ambiguities and to show hierarchical and associative relationships between them (see definitions of broader, narrower and related terms below).

The purpose of a thesaurus is to guide both the indexer and the searcher to select the same term or combination of terms to represent a given concept.

Source: UK Gov Talk Design/selection criteria for software used to handle controlled vocabularies