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search expressionThe query typed into a Web search engine in order to obtain information. The search expression is normally a Boolean AND expression; for example, entering the two words computer and laptop yields Web pages that have "computer" AND "laptop" in their descriptions or in their body text.
Typing "laptop computer" surrounded by quotes produces results that have the two words in sequence on the page or in hidden meta tags. To return an OR condition, whereby either laptop OR computer OR both words are present, the search expression must be further modified by using the Advanced options in Google, Yahoo! and other search engines.
Other than the Web
Search expressions are also used in desktop search engines and other search functions within applications. They do not necessarily support Boolean ANDs and ORs like Web search engines do. See Boolean search, desktop search and search engine.