The EEBO corpus has been "semantically tagged", and you can use these tags as part of your search. A few examples are given below.

Semantic tag (click to run) Meaning Examples (click to run query)
{BA:06} "Armed hostility: defense" frontier, fortified
{AC:01:b:06} "Health and disease: Respiratory disorders, coughing" bronchitis, pneumonia
{BI:09:c:10} "Occupation and work: Worker: Manual/industrial worker: Miner" miner, coal-owner, collier
WORD(S): {BI:09:c:10}

WORK near "Occupation and work: Worker: Manual/industrial worker: Miner" wages || miner
wage || colliers
{AY:04:f:04} "Society: Social relations: Exclusion from society" boycott, outlaw
{BI:05} "Occupation and work: Business affairs" commercial, transactions
WORD(S): {AY:04:f:04}
"Business" near "exclusion" commercial | boycott
{AU:11} "Emotions: Happiness" delighted, relieved
I am {AU:11} that I am "Emotions: Happiness" that I am delighted that
I am relieved that
{AY:01:e:01} [be] {AO:23:b} "Society: Family: Parents" [be] "Action: Ability: Inability" mother is incapable
parent is incapacitated
{AR:13} "The mind: Idealism" romantic, idealistic
{AR:11} "The mind: Ideas" matter, idea, conceive
{AR:13} {AR:11} "The mind: Idealism" + "The mind: Ideas" utopian idea, romantic notion
{AR:13} [[=idea]] "The mind: Idealism" + [all forms of all synonyms of idea] romantic view, ideal solution