Search API

Returns search hits that match the query defined in the request.

GET /twitter/_search

Request

GET /<index>/_search

GET /_search

POST /<index>/_search

POST /_search

Description

Allows you to execute a search query and get back search hits that match the query. You can provide search queries using the q query string parameter or request body.

Path parameters

<index>
(Optional, string) Comma-separated list or wildcard expression of index names used to limit the request.

Query parameters

allow_no_indices

(Optional, boolean) If true, the request does not return an error if a wildcard expression or _all value retrieves only missing or closed indices.

This parameter also applies to index aliases that point to a missing or closed index.

Defaults to true.

allow_partial_search_results

(Optional, boolean) If true, returns partial results if there are request timeouts or shard failures. If false, returns an error with no partial results. Defaults to true.

To override the default for this field, set the search.default_allow_partial_results cluster setting to false.

batched_reduce_size
(Optional, integer) The number of shard results that should be reduced at once on the coordinating node. This value should be used as a protection mechanism to reduce the memory overhead per search request if the potential number of shards in the request can be large. Defaults to 512.
ccs_minimize_roundtrips
(Optional, boolean) If true, network round-trips between the coordinating node and the remote clusters are minimized when executing cross-cluster search (CCS) requests. See How cross-cluster search handles network delays. Defaults to true.
docvalue_fields
(Optional, string) A comma-separated list of fields to return as the docvalue representation of a field for each hit.
expand_wildcards

(Optional, string) Controls what kind of indices that wildcard expressions can expand to. Valid values are:

all
Expand to open and closed indices.
open
Expand only to open indices.
closed
Expand only to closed indices.
none
Wildcard expressions are not accepted.

Defaults to open.

explain

(Optional, boolean) If true, returns detailed information about score computation as part of a hit. Defaults to false.

You can also specify this value using the explain request body parameter. If both parameters are specified, only the query parameter is used.

from

(Optional, integer) Starting document offset. Defaults to 0.

You can also specify this value using the from request body parameter. If both parameters are specified, only the query parameter is used.

ignore_throttled
(Optional, boolean) If true, concrete, expanded or aliased indices will be ignored when throttled. Defaults to false.
ignore_unavailable
(Optional, boolean) If true, missing or closed indices are not included in the response. Defaults to false.
max_concurrent_shard_requests
(Optional, integer) Defines the number of concurrent shard requests per node this search executes concurrently. This value should be used to limit the impact of the search on the cluster in order to limit the number of concurrent shard requests. Defaults to 5.
pre_filter_shard_size

(Optional, integer) Defines a threshold that enforces a pre-filter roundtrip to prefilter search shards based on query rewriting if the number of shards the search request expands to exceeds the threshold. This filter roundtrip can limit the number of shards significantly if for instance a shard can not match any documents based on its rewrite method ie. if date filters are mandatory to match but the shard bounds and the query are disjoint. When unspecified, the pre-filter phase is executed if any of these conditions is met:

  • The request targets more than 128 shards.
  • The request targets one or more read-only index.
  • The primary sort of the query targets an indexed field.
preference
(Optional, string) Specifies the node or shard the operation should be performed on. Random by default.
q

(Optional, string) Query in the Lucene query string syntax.

You can use the q parameter to run a query parameter search. Query parameter searches do not support the full Elasticsearch Query DSL but are handy for testing.

The q parameter overrides the query parameter in the request body. If both parameters are specified, documents matching the query request body parameter are not returned.

request_cache
(Optional, boolean) If true, the caching of search results is enabled for requests where size is 0. See Shard request cache. Defaults to index level settings.
rest_total_hits_as_int
(Optional, boolean) Indicates whether hits.total should be rendered as an integer or an object in the rest search response. Defaults to false.
routing
(Optional, time units) Specifies how long a consistent view of the index should be maintained for scrolled search.
search_type

(Optional, string) The type of the search operation. Available options:

  • query_then_fetch
  • dfs_query_then_fetch
seq_no_primary_term

(Optional, boolean) If true, returns sequence number and primary term of the last modification of each hit. See Optimistic concurrency control.

You can also specify this value using the seq_no_primary_term request body parameter. If both parameters are specified, only the query parameter is used.

size

(Optional, integer) Defines the number of hits to return. Defaults to 10.

You can also specify this value using the size request body parameter. If both parameters are specified, only the query parameter is used.

sort
(Optional, string) A comma-separated list of <field>:<direction> pairs.
_source
(Optional, boolean) If true, the response includes the _source of matching documents under hits. Defaults to true.
_source_excludes
(Optional, string) A list of fields to exclude from the returned _source field.
_source_includes
(Optional, string) A list of fields to extract and return from the _source field.
stats
(Optional, string) Specific tag of the request for logging and statistical purposes.
stored_fields
(Optional, string) A comma-separated list of stored fields to return as part of a hit. If no fields are specified, no stored fields are included in the response.
suggest_field
(Optional, string) Specifies which field to use for suggestions.
suggest_text
(Optional, string) The source text for which the suggestions should be returned.
terminate_after

(Optional, integer) The maximum number of documents to collect for each shard, upon reaching which the query execution will terminate early.

Defaults to 0, which does not terminate query execution early.

You can also specify this value using the terminate_after request body parameter. If both parameters are specified, only the query parameter is used.

timeout

(Optional, time units) Specifies the period of time to wait for a response. If no response is received before the timeout expires, the request fails and returns an error. Defaults to no timeout.

You can also specify this value using the timeout request body parameter. If both parameters are specified, only the query parameter is used.

track_scores
(Optional, boolean) If true, calculate and return document scores, even if the scores are not used for sorting. Defaults to false.
track_total_hits

(Optional, integer or boolean) Number of hits matching the query to count accurately. Defaults to 10000.

If true, the default value is used. If false, the response does not include the total number of hits matching the query.

typed_keys
(Optional, boolean) If true, aggregation and suggester names are be prefixed by their respective types in the response. Defaults to true.
version

(Optional, boolean) If true, returns document version as part of a hit. Defaults to false.

You can also specify this value using the version request body parameter. If both parameters are specified, only the query parameter is used.

Request body

explain

(Optional, boolean) If true, returns detailed information about score computation as part of a hit. Defaults to false.

You can also specify this value using the explain query parameter. If both parameters are specified, only the query parameter is used.

from

(Optional, integer) Starting document offset. Defaults to 0.

You can also specify this value using the from query parameter. If both parameters are specified, only the query parameter is used.

query
(Optional, query object) Defines the search definition using the Query DSL.
seq_no_primary_term

(Optional, boolean) If true, returns sequence number and primary term of the last modification of each hit. See Optimistic concurrency control.

You can also specify this value using the seq_no_primary_term query parameter. If both parameters are specified, only the query parameter is used.

size

(Optional, integer) The number of hits to return. Defaults to 10.

You can also specify this value using the size query parameter. If both parameters are specified, only the query parameter is used.

terminate_after

(Optional, integer) The maximum number of documents to collect for each shard, upon reaching which the query execution will terminate early.

Defaults to 0, which does not terminate query execution early.

You can also specify this value using the terminate_after query parameter. If both parameters are specified, only the query parameter is used.

timeout

(Optional, time units) Specifies the period of time to wait for a response. If no response is received before the timeout expires, the request fails and returns an error. Defaults to no timeout.

You can also specify this value using the timeout query parameter. If both parameters are specified, only the query parameter is used.

version

(Optional, boolean) If true, returns document version as part of a hit. Defaults to false.

You can also specify this value using the version query parameter. If both parameters are specified, only the query parameter is used.

Response body

took

(integer) Milliseconds it took Elasticsearch to execute the request.

This value is calculated by measuring the time elapsed between receipt of a request on the coordinating node and the time at which the coordinating node is ready to send the response.

Took time includes:

  • Communication time between the coordinating node and data nodes
  • Time the request spends in the search thread pool, queued for execution
  • Actual execution time

Took time does not include:

  • Time needed to send the request to Elasticsearch
  • Time needed to serialize the JSON response
  • Time needed to send the response to a client
timed_out
(boolean) If true, the request timed out before completion; returned results may be partial or empty.
_shards

(object) Contains a count of shards used for the request.

Properties of _shards
total
(integer) Total number of shards that require querying, including unallocated shards.
successful
(integer) Number of shards that executed the request successfully.
skipped
(integer) Number of shards that skipped the request because a lightweight check helped realize that no documents could possibly match on this shard. This typically happens when a search request includes a range filter and the shard only has values that fall outside of that range.
failed
(integer) Number of shards that failed to execute the request. Note that shards that are not allocated will be considered neither successful nor failed. Having failed+successful less than total is thus an indication that some of the shards were not allocated.
hits

(object) Contains returned documents and metadata.

Properties of hits
total

(object) Metadata about the number of returned documents.

Properties of total
value
(integer) Total number of returned documents.
relation

(string) Indicates whether the number of returned documents in the value parameter is accurate or a lower bound.

Values of relation:
eq
Accurate
gte
Lower bound, including returned documents
max_score

(float) Highest returned document _score.

This value is null for requests that do not sort by _score.

hits

(array of objects) Array of returned document objects.

Properties of hits objects
_index
(string) Name of the index containing the returned document.
_type
[6.0.0] Deprecated in 6.0.0. Mapping types are deprecated and will be removed in 8.0. See Removal of mapping types. (string) Mapping type of the returned document.
_id
(string) Unique identifier for the returned document. This ID is only unique within the returned index.
_score
(float) Positive 32-bit floating point number used to determine the relevance of the returned document.
_source
(object) Original JSON body passed for the document at index time.

Examples

Search an index using the q query parameter

GET /twitter/_search?q=user:kimchy

The API returns the following response:

{
  "took" : 5,
  "timed_out" : false,
  "_shards" : {
    "total" : 1,
    "successful" : 1,
    "skipped" : 0,
    "failed" : 0
  },
  "hits" : {
    "total" : {
      "value" : 1,
      "relation" : "eq"
    },
    "max_score" : 1.3862942,
    "hits" : [
      {
        "_index" : "twitter",
        "_type" : "_doc",
        "_id" : "0",
        "_score" : 1.3862942,
        "_source" : {
          "date" : "2009-11-15T14:12:12",
          "likes" : 0,
          "message" : "trying out Elasticsearch",
          "user" : "kimchy"
        }
      }
    ]
  }
}

Search several indices using the q query parameter

GET /kimchy,elasticsearch/_search?q=user:kimchy

Search all indices using the q query parameter

To search all indices in a cluster, omit the <index> parameter.

GET /_search?q=user:kimchy

Alternatively, you can use the _all or * value in the <index> parameter.

GET /_all/_search?q=user:kimchy
GET /*/_search?q=user:kimchy

Search an index using the query request body parameter

GET /twitter/_search
{
    "query" : {
        "term" : { "user" : "kimchy" }
    }
}

The API returns the following response:

{
    "took": 1,
    "timed_out": false,
    "_shards":{
        "total" : 1,
        "successful" : 1,
        "skipped" : 0,
        "failed" : 0
    },
    "hits":{
        "total" : {
            "value": 1,
            "relation": "eq"
        },
        "max_score": 1.3862942,
        "hits" : [
            {
                "_index" : "twitter",
                "_type" : "_doc",
                "_id" : "0",
                "_score": 1.3862942,
                "_source" : {
                    "user" : "kimchy",
                    "message": "trying out Elasticsearch",
                    "date" : "2009-11-15T14:12:12",
                    "likes" : 0
                }
            }
        ]
    }
}