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Support for ^ and $ anchoring operators

In regular expressions, ^ can be used to match the beginning of the line and $ to match the end of the line. For example, ^ban will match banana, but not urban, while ban$ matches urban, but not banana. These are called anchoring operators.

By default, Relevanssi matches either beginning or the end of the word, but not in the middle – ban will match banana or urban, but not abandon. If you want more control over this in the search, you can add support for the ^ and $ operators in Relevanssi using the relevanssi_fuzzy_query filter hook.

Add this to your site:

add_filter( 'relevanssi_fuzzy_query', 'rlv_edge_operators' );
function rlv_edge_operators( $query ) {
    if ( isset( $_REQUEST['s'] ) && '^' === substr( $_REQUEST['s'], 0, 1 ) ) {
        return "(relevanssi.term LIKE '#term#%')";
    if ( isset( $_REQUEST['s'] ) && '$' === substr( $_REQUEST['s'], -1 ) ) {
        return "(relevanssi.term_reverse LIKE CONCAT(REVERSE('#term#'), '%'))";
    return $query;

This is a very simple version that works best with single-word searches: it always looks at the first and last character of the whole search query. So, if you search for ^ban foo, it’s the same as searching for ^ban ^foo and searching for ban ^foo is the same as searching for ban foo.

Creating a smarter version that analyzes the search query and offers support for using different operators for individual words in the query is left as an exercise for the reader.

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