Stop Word


  • A common word that is eliminated from Indexing. Eliminating Stop Words from Indexing dramatically reduces the size of the Index, while only marginally affecting the search process in most circumstances. Examples of Stop Words include “a,” “the,” “of,” “but,” and “not.” Because phrases and names such as “To be or not to be,” and “The Who,” contain exclusively Stop Words that would not be Indexed, they would not be identified (or identifiable) through a Keyword Search. 1
  • Words that are so commonly used that there is little loss by ignoring them in a query or when the documents are indexed. Many systems involve stopword lists, which may include words like “I”, “he”, “are”, and “is.” 2


  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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