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  • Definition
  • Syntax
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  • Boolean Operator Queries
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  • Wildcard Queries

The queryString operator supports querying a combination of indexed fields and values. You can perform text, wildcard, regular expression, fuzzy, and range searches on string fields using the queryString operator.

queryString has the following syntax:

2 "$search": {
3 "index": <index name>, // optional, defaults to "default"
4 "queryString": {
5 "defaultPath": "<default-field-to-search>",
6 "query": "(<field-to-search>: (<search-values>) AND|OR (<search-values>)) AND|OR (<search-values>)"
7 }
8 }

queryString uses the following terms to construct a query:

The indexed field to search by default. Atlas Search only searches the field in defaultPath if you omit the field to search in the query.

One or more indexed fields and values to search. Fields and values are colon-delimited. For example, to search the plot field for the string baseball, use plot:baseball. The following operators are available to combine multiple search criteria:

You can combine the fields and values using the following:

Indicates AND boolean operator. All search values must be present for a document to be included in the results.
Indicates OR boolean operator. At least one of the search value must be present for a document to be included in the results.
Indicates NOT boolean operator. Specified search value must be absent for a document to be included in the results.
Indicates the range to search. You can use [] for an inclusive range, {} for an exclusive range, or {] and [} for an half-open range. Any value that falls within the specified range must be present for a document to be included in the results.
Delimiters for subqueries. Use the parentheses to group fields and values to search.


See also:

Examples for some sample queries that use the operators and delimiters to search the sample movies collection.

You can run wildcard and regular expression queries using the following:

Indicates any single character to match.
Indicates 0 or more characters to match.
Delimiter for regular expression.

Indicates fuzzy search to find strings which are similar to the search term. If you use this with multiple terms in a string, the queryString operator does a proximity search for the terms within the specified number of terms.


For fuzzy search, the queryString operator matches terms up to at most 2 edits. Higher distances are not useful as it might match a significant amount of the dictionary term. For example, "foo":"stop"~2 is equal to the following:

{ "path": "foo", "query": "stop", "maxEdits": 2 }

For proximity search, the queryString operator matches terms using the distance specified between words in the search phrase. For example, "foo":"New York"~2 is equal to the following:

{ "path": "foo", "query": "New York", "slop": 2 }


The queryString operator doesn't support a wildcard query with * as the first character in the query. The queryString operator treats any character preceding the * as prefix or as characters that must exactly match.


The score assigned to matching search results. You can modify the default score using the following options:

  • boost: multiply the result score by the given number.

  • constant: replace the result score with the given number.

  • function: replace the result score with the given expression.

For information on using score in your query, see Score the Documents in the Results.


When you query values in arrays, Atlas Search doesn't alter the score of the matching results based on the number of values inside the array that matched the query. The score would be the same as a single match regardless of the number of matches inside an array.


The following examples use the movies collection in the sample_mflix database. If you have the sample dataset on your cluster , you can create the Atlas Search index named default with dynamic mappings and run the example queries on your cluster .

The following example uses the queryString operator to query for movie plots that contain the terms captain, kirk, and chess. This example shows how different grouping of the same search terms using parentheses can result in different documents to be included in the search results.


The following queries search for a combination of the terms, captain, kirk, and chess in the plot field. Each query returns a different result depending on how the search terms are grouped.

The queries also includes a $project stage to:

  • Exclude all fields except title, plot, and fullpath

  • Add a field named score

The following examples use the queryString operator to query for movie titles using fuzzy, wildcard, and regular expressions. The queries include a $project stage to exclude all fields except title.

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