We have set up a termset for our site collection (onsite SP 2013). For several of the terms we have set up synonyms as documented here.

They are working and very helpful for the data entry folks to map different terms to our preferred terms.

But I can't figure out how they provide any benefit to the content users. For example we've got things tagged by color. "Purple" is the official tag, but somethings are also "Plum" or "Violet" and a user of the content might search on either of those.

But neither term produce any results.

As I did some more research I found that to get synonyms is search one needs to add a thesaurus file as described here.

I'm guessing that there is no automagic connection between the term store synonyms and the thesaurus synonyms for search?

Our team has Site Collection admin privileges, but no access to the central admin. Am I correct in assuming that we are out of luck for making synonyms work in search?

1 Answer 1


Synonyms in Managed Metadata are completely unrelated to synonyms in a thesaurus for Search. You could write a PowerShell script that read the MMS terms and created a formatted thesaurus then periodically Imported/Updated the search thesaurus.

In one step traverse your term set and write a thesaurus file in the format:

IE,Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer,IE

In the second phase use the Import-SPEnterpriseSearchThesaurus cmdlets to load the resulting file into the Search Service Application.

  • Thanks. I was afraid that was the answer. We probably won't be able to do this because we are only one site collection and the thesaurus is for the entire farm, right? There isn't a way to make thesaurus apply to only one site collection or search result source?
    – Rothrock
    Sep 1, 2015 at 23:25
  • Nope, it's for the Search Service Application, which, if you only have one, is the farm. Sep 2, 2015 at 13:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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