SQLite’s MATCH operator is used to perform full-text search queries on text fields in a SQLite database. It is particularly useful when searching for specific words or phrases within large blocks of text.


The syntax for using the MATCH operator is as follows:

SELECT column1, column2, ...
FROM table_name
WHERE column_name MATCH 'search_query';

In this syntax, column_name is the name of the column containing the text data, and ‘search_query’ is the string to be searched for. The MATCH operator returns all rows where the specified column contains any portion of the search query.


Suppose you have a table named “products” with columns “id”, “name”, and “description”, and you want to search for all products that contain the word “phone” in either their name or description. You can use the MATCH operator in combination with the FTS5 extension (which provides full-text search capabilities in SQLite) to achieve this:

SELECT id, name, description 
FROM products 
WHERE products MATCH 'phone';

This query will return all rows from the “products” table where the word “phone” appears in either the “name” or “description” column. The MATCH operator is used to perform the full-text search, and the FTS5 extension is enabled by default in recent versions of SQLite.

Note that the MATCH operator uses the syntax of the FTS5 query language, which supports a range of advanced search features such as phrase matching, proximity matching, and more. You can learn more about the FTS5 query syntax in the official SQLite documentation.

SQLite’s full-text search capabilities are also powered by the FTS3 and FTS4 extensions, which allow for efficient indexing and searching of text data. When creating a table with text data that will be searched using MATCH, the column should be declared with the TEXT data type and the fts3 or fts4 virtual table module should be used.

For example, to create a table mytable with a text column mytext that will be searched using MATCH, the following SQL statement can be used:

CREATE VIRTUAL TABLE mytable USING fts4(mytext);

Once the table is created, full-text search queries using the MATCH operator can be performed on the mytext column.

It is important to note that the MATCH operator is case-insensitive by default, but this behavior can be changed by using the COLLATE keyword and specifying a case-sensitive collation sequence.

Overall, the MATCH operator in SQLite is a powerful tool for performing efficient full-text searches on text data in a database.