Peter Mark Roget

Physician, philologist, author of the Thesaurus of English Words & Phrases, alumnus.

Roget plaque


The son of a Swiss clergyman, Peter Mark Roget was born in London in 1779.

He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, graduating in 1798 after which he entered professional life. As a young doctor, Roget worked as a private physician and tutor, publishing many works relating to his profession and firmly establishing his place in the medical world.

From 1827 to 1848, he served as secretary of the Royal Society.


From an early age, Roget was known to enjoy making lists. While initially a hobby, following his retirement from professional life in 1840, he began to devote his time to what would become his best known work.

'Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases' was a dictionary of synonyms which he had begun compiling for personal use from as early as 1805, the purpose of which was to enhance his own writing.

Roget died while on holiday aged 90, and is buried in the cemetery of St James's Church in West Malvern, Worcestershire.

Originally published in 1852, his thesaurus has never been out of print and remains a prominent and comprehensive classification of synonyms. 

The plaque

Roget's plaque is in the vicinity of George Square.


In honour of Peter Mark Roget


Physician and philologist, author of the Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases, graduate of the University

Image credit

The image on this page comes from Wellcome Images, a website operated by Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation based in the United Kingdom. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence. 

Wellcome Images

Creative Commons 4.0 licence