ES|QL syntax referenceedit

Basic syntaxedit

An ES|QL query is composed of a source command followed by an optional series of processing commands, separated by a pipe character: |. For example:

| processing-command1
| processing-command2

The result of a query is the table produced by the final processing command.

For an overview of all supported commands, functions, and operators, refer to Commands and Functions and operators.

For readability, this documentation puts each processing command on a new line. However, you can write an ES|QL query as a single line. The following query is identical to the previous one:

source-command | processing-command1 | processing-command2


Identifiers need to be quoted with backticks (`) if:

  • they don’t start with a letter, _ or @
  • any of the other characters is not a letter, number, or _

For example:

FROM index
| KEEP `1.field`

When referencing a function alias that itself uses a quoted identifier, the backticks of the quoted identifier need to be escaped with another backtick. For example:

FROM index
| STATS COUNT(`1.field`)
| EVAL my_count = `COUNT(``1.field``)`


ES|QL currently supports numeric and string literals.

String literalsedit

A string literal is a sequence of unicode characters delimited by double quotes (").

// Filter by a string value
FROM index
| WHERE first_name == "Georgi"

If the literal string itself contains quotes, these need to be escaped (\\"). ES|QL also supports the triple-quotes (""") delimiter, for convenience:

ROW name = """Indiana "Indy" Jones"""

The special characters CR, LF and TAB can be provided with the usual escaping: \r, \n, \t, respectively.

Numerical literalsedit

The numeric literals are accepted in decimal and in the scientific notation with the exponent marker (e or E), starting either with a digit, decimal point . or the negative sign -:

1969    -- integer notation
3.14    -- decimal notation
.1234   -- decimal notation starting with decimal point
4E5     -- scientific notation (with exponent marker)
1.2e-3  -- scientific notation with decimal point
-.1e2   -- scientific notation starting with the negative sign

The integer numeric literals are implicitly converted to the integer, long or the double type, whichever can first accommodate the literal’s value.

The floating point literals are implicitly converted the double type.

To obtain constant values of different types, use one of the numeric conversion functions.


ES|QL uses C++ style comments:

  • double slash // for single line comments
  • /* and */ for block comments
// Query the employees index
FROM employees
| WHERE height > 2
FROM /* Query the employees index */ employees
| WHERE height > 2
FROM employees
/* Query the
 * employees
 * index */
| WHERE height > 2

Timespan literalsedit

Datetime intervals and timespans can be expressed using timespan literals. Timespan literals are a combination of a number and a qualifier. These qualifiers are supported:

  • millisecond/milliseconds
  • second/seconds
  • minute/minutes
  • hour/hours
  • day/days
  • week/weeks
  • month/months
  • year/years

Timespan literals are not whitespace sensitive. These expressions are all valid:

  • 1day
  • 1 day
  • 1 day