Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Phrase Search in Elasticsearch

Natural Language Processing (NLP) in Elasticsearch

Natural Language Processing in Elasticsearch involves essential steps to transform and clean the input text in preparation for search and querying. Below are some natural language processing methods in Elasticsearch:


Tokenization is the process of dividing the text into smaller units called tokens. Each token is typically a word or a small phrase. Tokenizing the text helps speed up search and querying in Elasticsearch.

Example: The text Elasticsearch is a powerful search and analytics tool. will be tokenized into: Elasticsearch, is, a, powerful, search, and analytics, tool.


Stemming is the process of converting words to their base or root form. The purpose is to normalize words with the same word stem, aiding more accurate search results.

Example: The words running, runs, ran will be converted to the base form run.

Stop Words Removal

Stop words are common and frequently occurring words, such as is, the, and a. Elasticsearch removes stop words from the text to reduce index size and improve search performance.

Example: In the sentence The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. the stop words the and over will be removed.


Identifying synonyms to expand search results. Elasticsearch can be configured to handle synonyms and return equivalent results.

Example: If a user searches for big, Elasticsearch may return results containing both large and huge.

Compound Word Analysis

Processing compound words or joined words in compound languages. Elasticsearch can analyze compound words into separate components for easier searching.

Example: In German, the compound word schwimmbad (swimming pool) can be analyzed into schwimm and bad.


Phrase Search in Elasticsearch

Phrase Search is a specific way of searching in Elasticsearch, focusing on finding specific phrases that appear consecutively and in the correct order within the text. This ensures more accurate and reliable search results.

Example: If there is a text Elasticsearch is a powerful search and analytics tool., when performing a phrase search with the phrase "search and analytics", Elasticsearch will only return texts containing that phrase in the correct order, such as the text mentioned above.


To perform a phrase search in Elasticsearch, you can use either the Match Phrase query or the Match Phrase Prefix query, depending on your search requirements. The Match Phrase query will search for an exact phrase, while the Match Phrase Prefix query allows for a partial match of the last keyword.