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    Faceted search

    You can use Meilisearch filters to build faceted search interfaces. This type of interface allows users to refine search results based on broad categories or facets. Faceted search provides users with a quick way to narrow down search results by selecting categories relevant to what they are looking for. A faceted navigation system is an intuitive interface to display and navigate through content.

    Facets are common in ecommerce sites like Amazon. When users search for products, they are presented with a list of results and a list of facets which you can see on the sidebar in the image below:

    Meilisearch demo for an ecommerce website displaying faceting UI

    Faceted search interfaces often have a count of how many results belong to each facet. This gives users a visual clue of the range of results available for each facet.

    Filters or facets

    Meilisearch does not differentiate between facets and filters. Facets are a specific use-case of filters, meaning you can use any attribute added to filterableAttributes as a facet. Whether something is a filter or a facet depends above all on UX and UI design.

    Configuring and using facets

    Like any other filter, you must add any attributes you want to use as facets to the filterableAttributes list in an index's settings. Once you have configured filterableAttributes, you can search for facets with the facets search parameter.


    Synonyms don't apply to facets. If you have SF and San Francisco set as synonyms, faceting by SF and San Francisco will show you different results.

    Suppose you have a books dataset containing the following fields:

      "title": "Hard Times",
      "genres": ["Classics","Fiction", "Victorian", "Literature"],
      "publisher": "Penguin Classics",
      "language": "English",
      "author": "Charles Dickens",
      "description":"Hard Times is a novel of social … ",
      "format": "Hardcover",
      "rating": 3

    The following code sample allows you to create facets for the genres, language, and rating attributes:

    curl \
      -X PUT 'http://localhost:7700/indexes/books/settings/filterable-attributes' \
      -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
      --data-binary '[
        "genres", "rating", "language"

    Now, if you were to search the books index for classic using the following code sample:

    curl \
      -X POST 'http://localhost:7700/indexes/books/search' \
      -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
      --data-binary '{
        "q": "classic",
        "facets": [
        "genres", "rating", "language"

    The response would return classic books along with two new fields: facetDistribution and facetStats:


    Facet distribution

    The facetDistribution object contains the number of matching documents distributed among the values of a given facet. Meilisearch automatically adds facetDistribution to the response of any query using the facets search parameter.

    The following response shows the facet distribution when searching for classics:


    facetDistribution contains an object for every attribute passed to the facets parameter. Each object contains the different values for that attribute and the count of matching documents with that value. Meilisearch does not return empty facets: if there are no results for the Arabic language, it will not be present in facetDistribution.


    By default, facets returns a maximum of 100 facet values for each faceted field. You can change this value using the maxValuesPerFacet property of the faceting index settings.

    Facet stats

    When using the facets parameter, Meilisearch results include a facetStats object. facetStats contains the lowest (min) and highest (max) numerical values across all documents in each facet.

    facetStats is useful when creating UI components such as range sliders. These allow users to refine their search by selecting from a range of facet values.


    Meilisearch ignores numeric strings like "21" when computing facetStats.

    The following response shows the lowest and highest book ratings when searching for "classic":


    If none of the matching documents have a numeric value for a facet, that facet is not included in the facetStats object. Since rating was the only numeric facet in our example, it is the only facet returned in the facetStats object.

    Facet types

    Conjunctive facets

    Conjunctive facets use the AND logical operator. When users select multiple values for a facet, returned results must contain all selected facet values.

    With conjunctive facets, when a user selects English from the language facet, all returned books must be in English. If the user further narrows down the search by selecting Fiction and Literature as genres, all returned books must be in English and contain both genres.

    "language = English AND genres = Fiction AND genres = Literature"

    The GIF below shows how the facet count for genres updates to only include books that meet all three conditions.

    Selecting English books with 'Fiction' and 'Literature' as 'genres' for the books dataset

    Disjunctive facets

    Disjunctive facets use the OR logical operator. When users select multiple values for a facet, returned results must contain at least one of the selected values.

    With disjunctive facets, when a user selects Fiction, and Literature, Meilisearch returns all books that are either Fiction, Literature, or both:

    "genres = Fiction OR genres = Literature"

    The GIF below shows the books dataset with disjunctive facets. Notice how the facet count for genres updates based on the selection.

    Selecting 'Fiction' and 'Literature' as 'genres' for the books dataset

    Combining conjunctive and disjunctive facets

    It is possible to create search queries with both conjunctive and disjunctive facets.

    For example, a user might select English and French from the language facet so they can see books written either in English or in French. This query uses an OR operator and is a disjunctive facet:

    "language = English OR language = French"

    The same user might also be interested in literary fiction books and select Fiction and Literature as genres. Since the user wants a specific combination of genres, their query uses an AND operator:

    "genres = Fiction AND genres = Literature"

    The user can combine these two filter expressions in one by wrapping them in parentheses and using an AND operator:

    "(language = English OR language = French) AND (genres = Fiction AND genres = Literature)"

    The GIF below shows the books dataset with conjunctive and disjunctive facets. Notice how the facet count for each facet updates based on the selection.

    Selecting 'Fiction' and 'Literature' as 'genres' for English books