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Openverse Syntax Guide

When you search, you can enter special symbols or words to your search term to make your search results more precise.

Search for an exact match

Put a word or phrase inside quotes. For example, "Claude Monet".

Combining terms

If you want to combine terms, you can use the following operators to perform more complex queries

  • + signifies AND operation
  • - negates a single token
  • | signifies OR operation
  • * at the end of a term signifies a prefix query
  • () signify precedence
  • ~ after a word signifies edit distance (fuzziness)

Example: dog+cat
This will search for images related to both dog and cat.

Example: dog|cat
This will search for images related to dog or cat, but not necessarily both.

You can use the - operator (signifies NOT) to exclude a search term from the results.

Example: dog -pug
This will search for images related to dog but won't include results related to 'pug'

You can use the to mark a prefix term. This will match anything after the *.

Example: net*
This will search for images matching anything with 'net'. This might include 'network', 'Netflix', 'Netherlands', etc.

You can use parentheses ( and ) to specify precedence of terms or combine more complex queries.

Example: dogs + (corgis | labrador)
This will search for images that match dogs that are either corgis or labrador.

You can use ~N to specify some fuzzy logic to the term according to the Levenshtein Edit Distance — the number of one character changes that need to be made to one string to make it the same as another string.

Example: theatre~1
This will search for images that match strings close to the term 'theatre' with a difference of one character. Results might include terms with different spellings like 'theater'.

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