Types of Synonyms

One- and two-way synonyms expand the definition of keywords. Some are interchangeable with the keyword, while others represent a subset of the keyword.


Two-way synonyms have the same meaning and return the same search results. In the following example, the first word shown in bold is the keyword that is used in the catalog, followed by words that have the same meaning as the original keyword. You can create a simple pair of two-way synonyms, or a chain of multiple two-way synonyms for the same keyword.

jacket Two-way selector coat
pants Two-way selector slacks Two-way selector trousers


A one-way synonym is a subset of a keyword, but with a more specific meaning. For example, capris and shorts are pants, but not all pants are capris or shorts. A search for pants includes capris and shorts. However, a search for shorts does not return capris.

sweatshirt One-way selector hoodie
pants One-way selector capris Multiple one-way selector calf-length-pants Multiple one-way selector peddle pushers

Best practices

Keep in mind the following best practices to get the most from Live Search synonyms.

Avoid “stop words”

Live Search filters out common English “stop words” from synonyms, such as:

a, an, and, are, as, at, be, but, by, for, if, in, into, is, it, no, not, of, on, or, such, that, the, their, then, there, these, they, this, to, was, will, with

Stop words do not make synonyms more meaningful, but increase the amount of data that must be processed.

Use single words

If a synonym term contains multiple words, the blank space between the words causes them to be treated as a separate synonyms. For example, if you define “time piece” as a synonym for “watch”, the words “time” and “piece” are treated as separate synonyms.

Use of singular and plural

It is not necessary to define both the singular and plural forms of a word as a synonym. If you have a mixture of singular and plural terms in your catalog, Search finds the correct set of products. For example, if you use the word “pant” in the product name and a shopper searches for “pants”, the correct set of products is returned, and the singular word “pant” is offered as a suggestion. The singular term “pant” is often used in the fashion industry and sometimes in retail, although the plural form “pants” is more commonly used in some areas. (The word “pant” technically refers to the part of a garment that covers one leg, which is why you need a “pair of pants” to cover both legs.)


Be consistent with the way terminology is used in your catalog. Keep in mind that there might be regional differences in usage, and sometimes differences within an industry.