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I need to find a word that would have a reasonably close meaning to:

a collection of facts and arguments used to arrive at an explanation [of some (thing|concept|idea|...)]

More generally, I would appreciate if someone can give leads to how to create|construct or search for words expressing a given meaning. I've found the OneLook Reverse Dictionary. What other tools are available to achieve this?

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See english.stackexchange.com/questions/52817/… for a discussion of "A collective noun for 'facts'." –  JLG Mar 25 '12 at 15:09
    
@JLG: That was an interesting read. –  slashmais Mar 25 '12 at 16:09
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3 Answers

How about findings?

b : the results of an investigation —usually used in plural

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Isn't 'findings' a closer synonym for 'explanation arrived at' than for my quoted string? –  slashmais Mar 25 '12 at 7:32
    
I started in that direction, but you said you were looking for a collective noun. I was going to suggest something like thesis or research initially. –  cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Mar 25 '12 at 20:07
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Premises might be appropriate, but its hard to tell without context, I don't think there's a cross-discipline word for that.

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It's one of the words I am considering, the others include: conjecture(s?), hypothesis, postulate(s?), but none of them gives that aha!-feel ;) I agree about the context, though the nature of my problem is that it must fit any and all as much as possible. –  slashmais Mar 25 '12 at 13:32
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To answer your question about finding words, if you have a general category to begin with (as you do -- "information"), you can consult Roget's Thesaurus. See below for how it's organized. I recommend the print version, but there is also an online version. Online Roget's Thesaurus.

From Wikepedia entry:

Roget's Thesaurus is composed of six primary classes.[5] Each class is composed of multiple divisions and then sections. This may be conceptualized as a tree containing over a thousand branches for individual "meaning clusters" or semantically linked words. These words are not exactly synonyms, but can be viewed as colours or connotations of a meaning or as a spectrum of a concept. One of the most general words is chosen to typify the spectrum as its headword, which labels the whole group.

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Thanks for the link to the online copy of Roget's, it will definitely be handy. I do have a print copy of it as well (as well as a rather elderly copy of Fowler's Modern English Usage - quite an interesting book to browse through, and quite funny in places) –  slashmais Mar 25 '12 at 15:48
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