There are analogical dictionaries which list words and phrases related to a topic.
And there are symbolic dictionaries which explain what a thing represents.

But I have not found a dictionary that list what a thing evokes.

For example a whale evokes the sea, the giant size, the vulnerability, the rarity.
The car evokes speed, technology, noise, transportation, voyage, protection but also danger.

Where can I find a list of evocations for the most common things?

  • 1
    What a word evokes is very individualistic, I don't think such a dictionary would be useful. I don't agree with all of the examples you listed just in this question!
    – curiousdannii
    Jan 8, 2020 at 22:16
  • 1
    Thesaurus may be what you are looking for.
    – amegnunsen
    Jan 9, 2020 at 7:06
  • @amegnunsen it seems to be the same as an analogical dictionary - we call it that in French. Jan 9, 2020 at 15:35
  • Thesaurus is made to give semantic relationships, often hierarchical, between words, as you seem to seek. There is also WordNet, otherwise.
    – amegnunsen
    Jan 9, 2020 at 22:12
  • @amegnunsen it's definitely not what I seek Jan 9, 2020 at 22:24

2 Answers 2


Yes, there are - if I understood you correctly, but I've seen only one so far, for the Russian language. It's called Русский ассоциативный словарь (Russian Associative Dictionary), in two volumes.

You can read more about how it was compiled in Ufimtseva 2014.

As for English, I've only seen The Edinburgh Associative Thesaurus. http://vlado.fmf.uni-lj.si/pub/networks/data/dic/eat/Eat.htm


No there is no such thing. I just did a round of gathering dictionaries over the past few months and didn't encounter anything like this.

The closest thing I have ever come across is something related to Lakoff's work on Conceptual Metaphors. They have collected a compendium of meanings like this (the conceptual metaphor it evokes) for many words, but I can't seem to find it online. Perhaps this is it.

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