What is Truncation?

Truncation allows you to search various forms of a word by finding alternate endings.

The wildcard character is placed at the end of the first few letters of a search term or at the end of its root. A root is the base or most simplified form of a word.

searchbox truncation example

For example, using the search terms " medical diagnosis amb* "  may find information containing "ambulatory", "amblyopia", "ambient" relating to medical or diagnosis resources.

Each database or database provider utilizes different wildcard characters and may have restrictions such as searching no less than 3 letters to achieve results.


Some databases regard stemming as a specialized form of truncation that finds related words of the root such as plural and grammatical forms, as well as different endings.

searchbox stemming example

For example, using the search term " person# ", it may result in "people", as well as "person", "personalize", "personable", "persona", and "personal".