• A search option that returns matches for all variations of the root word of the initial query word. For example, if the query word was sing, then if a search used stemming the search results would match singing, sang, sung, song, and songs as well as sing.
  • In Keyword or Boolean Search, or Feature Engineering, the process of equating all forms of the same root word. For example, the words “stem,” “stemming,” “stemmed,” and “stemmable” would all be treated as equivalent, and would each yield the same result when used as a Search Terms in a Query. In some search systems, stemming is implicit and in others, it must be made explicit through particular Query syntax. 1
  • The process of removing prefixes and suffixes from words before indexing them and as part of query processing. For example, the word “swimming” could be stemmed to “swim.” If words are stemmed as they are indexed, the query must also stem the words so that the query can match the index. In a system that uses stemming, several word forms can be indexed identically, for example, “swimmer” and “swimming” would both be indexed as “swim.” 2

See Also


  1. Maura R. Grossman and Gordon V. Cormack, EDRM page & The Grossman-Cormack Glossary of Technology-Assisted Review, with Foreword by John M. Facciola, U.S. Magistrate Judge2013 Fed. Cts. L. Rev. 7 (January 2013).
  2. Herb Roitblat, Search 2020: The Glossary.
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