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It depends what you mean by 'archaic'. For a wider cultural reference to Archaic England, see Harold Bayley's Archaic England. Halliwell's dictionary covers 14th century usage, and is particularly good on dialects. It references other works which you may find useful for other periods. Sweet's work is Anglo-Saxon in focus. There are several region-specific ...
The Macquarie Dictionary is usually considered the most reliable source for Australian English words, and Australian usage. There are a range of editions in print, as well as the (paywall) online version. Another option is the Australian National Dictionary, although it focuses on purely "Australian" words and their first usage. Rather than the real ...
The best way to find out the connotation of a word is to ask a lot of users. There are many questions about connotation on the Stack Exchange site, English Language and Usage.
I think this may be somewhat what you mean http://www.visuwords.com/ It can be a little difficult to use but sometimes comes up with some great words. I will occasionally check out a word and then look at the synonyms of its synonyms, but always use caution with the thesaurus and make sure the word is used correctly. Also connotations are subject to changes ...
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