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       notmuch-search-terms - syntax for notmuch queries


       notmuch count [option ...] <search-term> ...

       notmuch  dump  [--gzip]  [--format=(batch-tag|sup)]  [--output=<file>] [--] [<search-term>

       notmuch reindex [option ...] <search-term> ...

       notmuch search [option ...] <search-term> ...

       notmuch show [option ...] <search-term> ...

       notmuch tag +<tag> ... -<tag> [--] <search-term> ...


       Several notmuch commands accept a common syntax for search terms.

       The search terms can consist of free-form text (and quoted phrases) which will  match  all
       messages  that  contain all of the given terms/phrases in the body, the subject, or any of
       the sender or recipient headers.

       As a special case, a search string consisting of exactly  a  single  asterisk  ("*")  will
       match all messages.

   Search prefixes
       In  addition  to  free  text,  the  following prefixes can be used to force terms to match
       against specific portions of an email, (where <brackets> indicate user-supplied values).

       Some of the prefixes with <regex> forms can be also used to restrict the results to  those
       whose value matches a regular expression (see regex(7)) delimited with //, for example:

          notmuch search 'from:"/bob@.*[.]example[.]com/"'

              Match terms in the body of messages.

       from:<name-or-address> or from:/<regex>/
              The  from:  prefix  is  used to match the name or address of the sender of an email

              The to: prefix is used to match the names or addresses of any recipient of an email
              message, (whether To, Cc, or Bcc).

       subject:<word-or-quoted-phrase> or subject:/<regex>/
              Any  term prefixed with subject: will match only text from the subject of an email.
              Searching for a phrase in the subject is supported  by  including  quotation  marks
              around the phrase, immediately following subject:.

              The attachment: prefix can be used to search for specific filenames (or extensions)
              of attachments to email messages.

              The mimetype: prefix will be used to match text  from  the  content-types  of  MIME
              parts within email messages (as specified by the sender).

       tag:<tag> or tag:/<regex>/ or is:<tag> or is:/<regex>/
              For  tag:  and  is:  valid  tag  values include inbox and unread by default for new
              messages added by notmuch-new as well as any other tag values added  manually  with

       id:<message-id> or mid:<message-id> or mid:/<regex>/
              For  id:  and  mid:,  message ID values are the literal contents of the Message-ID:
              header of email messages, but without the '<', '>' delimiters.

              The thread: prefix can be used  with  the  thread  ID  values  that  are  generated
              internally by notmuch (and do not appear in email messages). These thread ID values
              can be seen in the first column of output from notmuch-search

       thread:{<notmuch query>}
              Threads may be searched for indirectly by providing an arbitrary notmuch  query  in
              {}.  For  example,  the following returns threads containing a message from mallory
              and one (not necessarily  the  same  message)  with  Subject  containing  the  word

                 % notmuch search 'thread:"{from:mallory}" and thread:"{subject:crypto}"'

              The  performance  of  such  queries  can  vary wildly. To understand this, the user
              should think of the query thread:{<something>} as expanding to all  of  the  thread
              IDs  which  match  <something>;  notmuch  then  performs  a second search using the
              expanded query.

       path:<directory-path> or path:<directory-path>/** or path:/<regex>/
              The path: prefix searches for email messages that  are  in  particular  directories
              within  the  mail  store. The directory must be specified relative to the top-level
              maildir (and without the leading slash). By default, path: matches messages in  the
              specified  directory  only.  The  "/**" suffix can be used to match messages in the
              specified  directory  and  all  its  subdirectories  recursively.  path:""  matches
              messages in the root of the mail store and, likewise, path:** matches all messages.

              path: will find a message if any copy of that message is in the specific directory.

       folder:<maildir-folder> or folder:/<regex>/
              The  folder:  prefix  searches  for  email  messages  by  maildir or MH folder. For
              MH-style folders, this is equivalent to path:. For maildir, this includes  messages
              in the "new" and "cur" subdirectories. The exact syntax for maildir folders depends
              on your mail configuration. For  maildir++,  folder:""  matches  the  inbox  folder
              (which  is  the  root  in maildir++), other folder names always start with ".", and
              nested folders are separated by "."s, such as folder:.classes.topology.  For  "file
              system"  maildir,  the  inbox  is  typically  folder:INBOX  and  nested folders are
              separated by slashes, such as folder:classes/topology.

              folder: will find a message if any copy of that message is in the specific folder.

       date:<since>..<until> or date:<date>
              The date: prefix can be used to restrict the results  to  only  messages  within  a
              particular time range (based on the Date: header).

              See  DATE  AND TIME SEARCH below for details on the range expression, and supported
              syntax for <since> and <until> date and time expressions.

              The time range can also be specified using timestamps without  including  the  date
              prefix using a syntax of:


              Each  timestamp  is  a  number  representing the number of seconds since 1970-01-01
              00:00:00 UTC. Specifying a time range this way is considered  legacy  and  predates
              the date prefix.

              The  lastmod:  prefix  can  be used to restrict the result by the database revision
              number of when messages were last modified (tags were  added/removed  or  filenames
              changed).  This  is  usually  used  in  conjunction  with  the  --uuid  argument to
              notmuch-search to find messages that have changed since an earlier query.

              The query: prefix allows queries to refer to previously saved  queries  added  with

              The property: prefix searches for messages with a particular <key>=<value> property
              pair. Properties are used internally by notmuch (and extensions) to add metadata to
              messages.  A  given  key  can  be present on a given message with several different
              values.  See notmuch-properties for more details.

              The   sexp:   prefix   allows   subqueries   in   the    format    documented    in
              notmuch-sexp-queries.  Note  that  subqueries containing spaces must be quoted, and
              any embedded double quotes must be escaped (see Quoting).

       User defined prefixes are also supported, see notmuch-config for details.

       In addition to individual terms, multiple terms can be  combined  with  Boolean  operators
       (and,  or, not, and xor). Each term in the query will be implicitly connected by a logical
       AND if no explicit operator is provided (except that terms with a common  prefix  will  be
       implicitly  combined  with  OR).  The shorthand '-<term>' can be used for 'not <term>' but
       unfortunately this does not work at the start of an expression.  Parentheses can  also  be
       used  to  control  the combination of the Boolean operators, but will have to be protected
       from interpretation by  the  shell,  (such  as  by  putting  quotation  marks  around  any
       parenthesized expression).

       In  addition to the standard boolean operators, Xapian provides several operators specific
       to text searching.

          notmuch search term1 NEAR term2

       will return results where term1 is within 10 words of term2. The threshold can be set like

          notmuch search term1 NEAR/2 term2

       The search

          notmuch search term1 ADJ term2

       will  return  results where term1 is within 10 words of term2, but in the same order as in
       the query. The threshold can be set the same as with NEAR:

          notmuch search term1 ADJ/7 term2

       Stemming in notmuch means that these searches

          notmuch search detailed
          notmuch search details
          notmuch search detail

       will all return identical results, because Xapian first "reduces" the term to  the  common
       stem (here 'detail') and then performs the search.

       There  are  two  ways  to turn this off: a search for a capitalized word will be performed
       unstemmed, so that one can search for "John" and not get  results  for  "Johnson";  phrase
       searches are also unstemmed (see below for details).  Stemming is currently only supported
       for English. Searches for words in other languages will be performed unstemmed.

       It is possible to use a trailing '*' as a wildcard.  A  search  for  'wildc*'  will  match
       'wildcard', 'wildcat', etc.

   Boolean and Probabilistic Prefixes
       Xapian  (and  hence notmuch) prefixes are either boolean, supporting exact matches like "‐
       tag:inbox" or probabilistic, supporting a more  flexible  term  based  searching.  Certain
       special prefixes are processed by notmuch in a way not strictly fitting either of Xapian's
       built in styles. The prefixes currently supported by notmuch are as follows.

              tag:, id:, thread:, folder:, path:, property:

              body:, to:, attachment:, mimetype:

              from:, query:, subject:, sexp:

   Terms and phrases
       In general Xapian distinguishes between lists of terms and phrases. Phrases are  indicated
       by  double  quotes  (but  beware  you  probably need to protect those from your shell) and
       insist that those  unstemmed  words  occur  in  that  order.  One  useful,  but  initially
       surprising feature is that the following are equivalent ways to write the same phrase.

       • "a list of words"

       • a-list-of-words

       • a/list/of/words

       • a.list.of.words

       Both  parenthesised  lists  of terms and quoted phrases are ok with probabilistic prefixes
       such as to:, from:, and subject:.  For prefixes supporting regex search, the parenthesised
       list should be quoted.  In particular

          subject:"(pizza free)"

       is equivalent to

          subject:pizza and subject:free

       Both of these will match a subject "Free Delicious Pizza" while

          subject:"pizza free"

       will not.

       Double  quotes are also used by the notmuch query parser to protect boolean terms, regular
       expressions, or subqueries containing spaces or other special characters, e.g.

          tag:"a tag"


          thread:"{from:mallory and date:2009}"

       As with phrases, you need to protect the double quotes from the shell e.g.

          % notmuch search 'folder:"/^.*/(Junk|Spam)$/"'
          % notmuch search 'thread:"{from:mallory and date:2009}" and thread:{to:mallory}'

       Double quotes within query strings need to be doubled to escape them.

          % notmuch search 'tag:"""quoted tag"""'
          % notmuch search 'sexp:"(or ""wizard"" ""php"")"'


       notmuch understands a variety of standard and natural ways of expressing dates and  times,
       both  in  absolute terms ("2012-10-24") and in relative terms ("yesterday"). Any number of
       relative terms can be combined ("1 hour 25 minutes") and  an  absolute  date/time  can  be
       combined  with  relative  terms  to further adjust it. A non-exhaustive description of the
       syntax supported for absolute and relative terms is given below.

   The range expression

       The above expression restricts the results to only messages from <since> to <until>, based
       on the Date: header.

       <since>  and  <until>  can  describe  imprecise times, such as "yesterday".  In this case,
       <since> is taken as the earliest time it could describe (the beginning of  yesterday)  and
       <until>  is  taken as the latest time it could describe (the end of yesterday). Similarly,
       date:january..february matches from the beginning of January to the end of February.

       If specifying a time range using timestamps in conjunction  with  the  date  prefix,  each
       timestamp  must  be  preceded  by  @  (ASCII hex 40). As above, each timestamp is a number
       representing the number of seconds since 1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC. For example:

       Currently, spaces in range expressions are not supported. You can replace the spaces  with
       '_',  or (in most cases) '-', or (in some cases) leave the spaces out altogether. Examples
       in this man page use spaces for clarity.

       Open-ended  ranges  are  supported.  I.e.  it's  possible  to  specify  date:..<until>  or
       date:<since>.. to not limit the start or end time, respectively.

   Single expression
       date:<expr>  works  as  a  shorthand  for  date:<expr>..<expr>.   For example, date:monday
       matches from the beginning of Monday until the end of Monday.

   Relative date and time
       [N|number] (years|months|weeks|days|hours|hrs|minutes|mins|seconds|secs) [...]

       All refer to past, can be repeated and will be accumulated.

       Units can be abbreviated to any length, with the otherwise ambiguous single m being m  for
       minutes and M for months.

       Number can also be written out one, two, ..., ten, dozen, hundred.  Additionally, the unit
       may be preceded by "last" or "this" (e.g., "last week" or "this month").

       When combined with absolute date and time, the relative date and time  specification  will
       be relative from the specified absolute date and time.

       Examples: 5M2d, two weeks

   Supported absolute time formats
       • H[H]:MM[:SS] [(am|a.m.|pm|p.m.)]

       • H[H] (am|a.m.|pm|p.m.)

       • HHMMSS

       • now

       • noon

       • midnight

       • Examples: 17:05, 5pm

   Supported absolute date formats
       • YYYY-MM[-DD]

       • DD-MM[-[YY]YY]

       • MM-YYYY

       • M[M]/D[D][/[YY]YY]

       • M[M]/YYYY

       • D[D].M[M][.[YY]YY]

       • D[D][(st|nd|rd|th)] Mon[thname] [YYYY]

       • Mon[thname] D[D][(st|nd|rd|th)] [YYYY]

       • Wee[kday]

       Month names can be abbreviated at three or more characters.

       Weekday names can be abbreviated at three or more characters.

       Examples: 2012-07-31, 31-07-2012, 7/31/2012, August 3

   Time zones
       • (+|-)HH:MM

       • (+|-)HH[MM]

       Some time zone codes, e.g. UTC, EET.


       notmuch,   notmuch-config,  notmuch-count,  notmuch-dump,  notmuch-hooks,  notmuch-insert,
       notmuch-new,   notmuch-properties,   notmuch-reindex,   notmuch-reply,    notmuch-restore,
       notmuch-search, notmuch-show, notmuch-tag


       Carl Worth and many others


       2009-2022, Carl Worth and many others