How to search for an exact term ?


Use the 'simple search' box available on the left-hand menu to perform a basic query for the term you are looking for.


When searching for a single term, this search mode will retrieve the exact match for the word entered. The case used for typing the search is irrelevant (case insensitive) and the system will not look for terms having the same root word (no stemming).


If the word searched is part of a compound term, such terms will be displayed in the result list, irrespective of the position of the word in the compound term.


Example : querying for road will retrieve terms such as road services department, country road (…)


Likewise, in case multiple words are searched for in the same query, all terms containing the expression will be retrieved in any order.


Example: searching international law will not only display international law as an exact match but also public international law ; international human rights law (…)


How to expand a search ?


Expanding the simple search can be done through using left or/and right truncation and wildcard.


Use the percent sign ('%') to truncate the searched word and find all terms that match the query, with zero or more characters in place of the % sign.


Example : %roll% will return terms such as electoral roll, payroll cost, rolling mill or controlled economy.


The underscore sign ('_'), when used for replacing a character in the searched word, will allow to ignore the character and retrieve all results matching with the rest of the word.


Example : wom_n will display woman and women


Advanced search


Accessible from the left-hand menu, the ADVANCED SEARCH option allows complex queries through different search modes and options, and enables to narrow on select specific results by using filters.


You can benefit from the extended features of the advanced search through cumulatively choosing your search mode, filters and selecting additional options.


Which search mode to use ?


Advanced search allows to choose between 4 search modes :


* identical to the simple search feature, the Exact search will display the term or word precisely matching the searched characters, found anywhere in a single or multiple word expression. Truncation and wildcard searches through the _ and % signs are possible.


* the Contain search retrieves a term, word or stem enclosed anywhere in a searched expression or phrase. The left and right truncations are used by default. The system will show all expressions that contain all the searched words in any order.


Example : a search for the word chemistry will display industrial chemistry, geochemistry, photochemistry


* the Begin with search returns all the expressions starting with the searched word, stem or combination of words.


Example : searching for free will retrieve

free movement of goods

free zone

free-trade area (…)


* similarly, the 'end with' search retrieves all the expressions ending with the searched word, stem or combination of words.


Example : querying for policy will display

East-West policy

aid policy

common foreign and security policy (…)



Refining your search using the filters


The filters available under the ADVANCED SEARCH box allow to restrict the search to specific elements or terms.


Such items that can be cumulatively selected are :


° PT preferred term. This option is checked by default;


° NPT non preferred term. This option is checked by default;


° Acronym formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term (e.g. NATO);


° Short name partly abbreviated usual expression (e.g. ADR agreement);


° Scope Note short text describing the intended use of term within the thesaurus;


° History note short text summarizing the historical evolution of the term inside the thesaurus;


° Definition note short text describing the term and its meaning;


° Country name for this filter, the PT and NPT boxes will be checked automatically, other fields are not selectable;


° ISO-3166-2 country code


Optional commands




Tick the Stemming checkbox to expand the results to all terms having the same root word. For example, talk will yield talking, talks and talked, as well as talk (but not talkie).


For a better relevance of the results, this option is not available in the ‘begin with" or ‘end with’ search modes.


The Stemming option is so far enabled only for the Dutch, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish languages. If the language does not support stemming, this option is disabled and thus cannot be selected.


Alternate spelling will be available by default for Swedish, German (including new German spelling) and Danish. For example, searching for the German word Potential will also display Potenzial.


Case Sensitive


Case sensitive queries allows the retrieval of results having the exact case and accentuation of the word typed in the search box.


For example, in Hungarian, a case sensitive search on kör will limit the results to terms presenting the exact case: politikai kör, minőség-ellenőrző kör.


Similarly, in Slovenian, a case-sensitive search on Butan will retrieve only Butan (i.e. Bhutan, the Asian country) and not butan (i.e. butane, the energy gas).


Search by EuroVoc release number


Search the concepts of a specific EuroVoc release (up to release 3.1) by selecting the number of the required version. Default search is performed in 'all releases'.


This Release option enables to retrieve query terms/words contains in the expression from a specific release, as well as to find all the preferred terms and non-preferred terms of a release.