To search for a term, write it in the text box at Téarma/Term. You may enter a term in Irish or English (or in any other language, such as Latin in the case of names for flora and fauna) and the search engine will search the whole database. You don’t need to enter which language you are going to write.
When you search for a term, you will see Exact Matches first and underneath those you will see Related Terms - that is every term in the database which contains the term you entered. The search for Related Terms works on the level of words. For example if you write verse, you will find free verse and verse dialogue among the Related Terms, but you won’t find adverse or overseas.
When you search for a term, you will see similar terms directly under the text box containing the term you typed. This gives you terms from the database that are similar to the term you typed. The purpose of this feature is to help you if you have made a spelling mistake or if you don’t know the term’s correct spelling.
There is information in the database about the inflected forms of terms and it uses this information to find related terms in every search. For example, if you search for the term monarcha, under Related Terms will be listed every term which contains the word monarcha, or any of its inflected forms (monarchan, monarchana), with or without lenition (séimhiú): limistéar monarchana, feirmeoireacht mhonarchan, and so on. This works in both languages, Irish and English.
The search process ignores punctuation. For example, it doesn’t matter whether you write lesser-used or lesser used, you will get the same results. The Quick Search is carried out on the basis of whole words or of parts of compound words which have a punctuation mark between them. So, if you search for tooth you won’t find toothpick but you will find saw-tooth roof and round double-tooth.
The English language contains many terms which can be written as compound words or as multi-word terms, with or without a hyphen, such as rain forest/rainforest, toothpick/tooth-pick. The Quick Search takes this into account. If you type a term in one of the forms, the search engine will suggest the other forms as well, provided they exist in the database. For example, if you search for tooth-pick, you will not find it because no such term exists in the database, but the compound word toothpick will be given to you instead. This works in the opposite direction as well: if you look for the compound word rainforest, the search engine will give you rain forest.
If you enter a term, the written form of which is the same as another term in the other language, for example basal, bean, you will see results in both languages and you can click either of them as you wish.