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?


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.

  • 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

How about findings?

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

  • 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

Premises might be appropriate, but its hard to tell without context, I don't think there's a cross-discipline word for that.

  • 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

In a more mathematical or logical context, the "collection of facts and arguments" would be your proof

1. evidence sufficient to establish a thing as true, or to produce belief in its truth. 2. anything serving as such evidence:
What proof do you have?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.