Search Connector Wildcards

The following wildcard characters help you search for variant spellings of words.

For information on connecting your search terms, see Search Term Connectors. For information on defining the proximity between your search terms, see Proximity Connectors.

Note: To view all search connectors (term and proximity) and wildcard characters on a single page so you can print a single document, see Search Connectors Quick Reference Card.

 

WildcardDescriptionExamples
!Use an exclamation mark (!) to find a root word plus all the words made by adding letters to the end of it.
Note:
  • There must be at least 3 characters prior to the ! or you may receive unexpected results.
  • Use ! only to find unique roots; fir! will find fired, firing,and fires, but will also find first, which you may not want.
Employ! would find variations on the term employ such as employee, employer, employment, and their plurals.
*Use an asterisk (*) to find a root word plus all the words made by adding letters to the end of it.
Tip:
  • Use * only to find unique roots; fir* will find fired, firing, and fires, but will also find first, which you may not want.
  • You can use an exclamation mark (!) in place of the * if you wish. Both function in the same way, but there must be at least 3 characters in front of the ! or you might receive unexpected results.
Employ* would find variations on the term employ such as employee, employer, employment, and their plurals.
?Use a single question mark (?) to find different spellings of a word by replacing a character anywhere within the word.

For the most effective search, please keep these rules in mind:

  • The character cannot replace any of the first three characters of the word.
  • Do not use the character at the end of a search term. (Instead, use either * or !.)
  • Use only a single ? in your search term.
wom?n would find woman and women

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