It’s The First Thesaurus Treasure Hunt! 

“Riches do not consist in the possession of treasures, but in the use made of them.” —Napoleon Bonaparte

Welcome to the first Thesaurus Treasure Hunt, an online activity you can use to boost your synonym-sleuthing skills.

To begin playing, you just follow the clues from each slide to uncover one mystery word for each. Use the site to research the words as you go along—synonyms will give you crucial information in this guessing game! (And don’t forget to check word origins and related words on the associated definition pages as well.) If you get stuck, you can follow the instructions provided in the hints. 

All of the words in this treasure hunt have something in common. Try to figure it out before you get to the end of the game!

Happy hunting!


Do you feel a little bit listless? This mystery word might describe how you feel if you stayed up too late last night. 

Need a hint? Sometimes you will see this word combined with another to make it a noun. You can add words like -head and -gus to the end to describe a person in this state. 

Think you’re ready to confirm? In the list of antonyms for this mystery word, is one word also used to describe cartoons

If not, try another hint: Your teacher can probably tell if you show up to class feeling this way because you are likely to lay your heavy head on the table and close your eyes (something that will probably get you in trouble, so try to look alert). 

Feeling a bit feverish?

You may be tempted to use this mystery word to describe how you feel, especially if you are trying to get out of doing something. (Beware, you might end up face to face with a physician because of it). 

Need a hint? The word can be used as slang to mean its exact opposite (kind of like how bad can sometimes mean good). 

Think you are ready to confirm? This word is a reason why someone might feel the way Clue 1 made them feel (probably from being awake all night coughing). You might also look like this leafy color (or feel like you do!) if this word applies to you.

If not, try another hint: You should practice social distancing, whether you are feeling this way or not. You do not want someone you love to feel under the weather, which is incidentally a synonym for our mystery word. 

Hmmm, that doesn’t sound right …

You may use this mystery word whenever you hear news that is too good to be true or something that sounds so outlandish it must be #fakenews. 

Need a hint? If you express that you are feeling this way, you might be called a “Doubting Thomas” (extra hint: a variation of the word appears in that definition). 

Think you are ready to confirm? This adjective appears as a synonym for the words doubtful, cynical, and suspicious, but don’t take our word for it! Check it out yourself.

If not, try another hint: If you are feeling this way, you might unconsciously raise an eyebrow in question. And asking questions is precisely what this type of person would do! 

Some people like this word (especially around Halloween), but too much of it can leave you jittery, anxious, or with a general sense of unease

Need a hint? This word means the opposite of happiness, ease, and comfort

Think you are ready to confirm? If you were to replace this mystery word with terror in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous quote from his first inaugural address, it would not make quite as much sense. (You can find that quote here!)

If not, try another hint: It may be hard for a person to hide the fact that they are feeling this word because it can be written all over their face (due to wide eyes or sweat dripping down their brow).

Feeling warm and fuzzy? 

If you are feeling a certain fondness for someone, this is the word you might use to describe that feeling. 

Need a hint? You might be tempted to describe this feeling as an emotion, but experts actually consider it a facial expression.

Think you are ready to confirm? Does your word mean the opposite of animosity? Was it one of the words used in the final hint from Clue 2?

If not, try another hint: This word has appeared in songs and poems since the dawn of time. But, if we were to use a synonym in its place, The Beatles may have sung “All You Need is Affection” (a synonym) instead of their actual hit song, “All You Need is _____.” (You can listen to that song here!)

You are halfway there!

Are you starting to sense a theme in the list? Let’s recap the list so far:

  • sleepy: ready or inclined so sleep, showing signs of drowsiness.
    • I stayed up late last night binge-watching Netflix, so I’m very sleepy today.
  • sick: afflicted with ill health, disease or an unpleasant feeling. 
    • My aunt called my mom and told her she was just diagnosed with the stomach flu. She’s feeling really sick because of it.
  • skeptical: having an attitude of doubt, denying or questioning.
    • I’m skeptical of Lisa’s story because she tends to lie and exaggerate
  • fear: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain or uneasiness.
    • I have always had a fear of spiders, but it has gotten so much worse since I got bitten by one last summer.
  • love: a profoundly tender, passionate affection or warm personal attachment for another person.
    • Did you hear Lizzo’s new song? I just love her so much! 

Some people may call it a blessing when good things happen. Or it could be attributed to serendipity, “an aptitude for making desirable discoveries seemingly by accident.” Either way, these words are used as synonyms for this mystery word.

Need a hint? On March 17, you might use this word. Or you can substitute good fortune in its place. So you might then say, “if you have the good fortune to be Irish, you have good fortune enough.”

Think you are ready to confirm? Can your word be represented by a black cauldron of gilded money or this verdant plant with a quartet of leaves? 

If not, try another hint: This word is often described as the force that seems to operate for good (or bad) in a person’s life. Both of those words can be added to our clue to make it mean two very different things. 

You would certainly experience this mystery word if the answer from Clue 5 was not reciprocated

Need a hint? This word is a metaphor, or a figure of speech, and not a real medical condition (although when you are going through it, it sure can feel real). 

Think you are ready to confirm? If you experience the word from Clue 5 and then lost it, you may feel this word in your chest. (And look at that, the first half of this word appears on the list of synonyms for Clue 5’s noun … )

If not, try another hint: If you wanted to let someone know how you feel, you could simply draw them a picture without having to say this word. You’d draw a common symbol (mentioned above) with a jagged line down the middle.


If you are using this word to describe how you feel, people might assume that you are happy, or experiencing pleasure, contentment, or joy. This word describes the way you respond to humorous events or occasions. 

Need a hint? Did you read something that was so funny you lol’d? Then you were most likely ______ by the content you read.

Think you are ready to confirm? If you are bored or depressed, you are feeling the exact opposite of this word. 

If not, try another hint: You can expect to show both playfulness and laughter with this emotion (and a variation of this word is the first synonym listed for the latter). 

What does it all mean?

Our final word is the one that ties this whole Treasure Hunt together. This mystery word, like all the ones that came before it, relates to feelings, especially when it comes to expressing them. Did you figure it out? You use this word to express yourself—maybe even every day!

Need a hint? When you are talking to someone IRL, you show all of the emotions from this treasure hunt on your face, but when you are communicating through text, direct message, or in the comments section on social media, you will have to show them with another type of face. That’s our last mystery word!

Think you are ready to confirm? If so, you can verify your answer here and see all the ways each of the other words from this slideshow related to it. 

If you enjoyed this, check out our Treasure Hunt.

You made it through! Now, take a look at the words from the second half of the treasure hunt and see if they leave you feeling emotional .… 

  • luck: the force that seems to operate for good or ill in a person’s life.
    • I swear, if it wasn’t for bad luck I wouldn’t have any luck at all!
  • heartbreak: great sorrow, grief or anguish.
    • It’s nothing but heartbreak every time our team goes up against theirs. We just can’t compete with them!
  • amused: pleasurably entertained or occupied, showing amusement. 
    • I was really amused by the way Joe answered Mr. Paul’s questions. He’s so sarcastic all the time, and I love it!
  • emoji: a small digital picture or pictorial symbol that represents a thing, feeling, or concept.
    • Timmy texted something stupid, and I texted back the cry/laughing emoji 15 times.
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