Definition of index in US English:

index

noun

  • 1An alphabetical list of names, subjects, etc., with references to the places where they occur, typically found at the end of a book.

    • ‘The book has a good index and an extensive bibliography, but no list of illustrations.’
    • ‘Carefully annotated and extensively glossed, it has a chronological table of Ancient Iranian Rulers, a select bibliography, and an index running to 25 pages.’
    • ‘Nearly an hour passed as I sat lost in the pages of the index of that book.’
    • ‘Nine pages of bibliography and both a name index and a subject index round out the book and help make it accessible.’
    • ‘The book includes a thorough index, making it a useful tool for researchers and students.’
    • ‘It contains 648 pages of text, spread over 39 chapters and an epilogue, as well as a subject and a name index, each of which takes up 26 pages.’
    • ‘It does contain a name index but a subject index would have enhanced its usefulness.’
    • ‘First, the index lists all common names, and all genera, but the species within genera are not listed under each genus.’
    • ‘The two-page index includes only the names of persons.’
    • ‘Short serviceable indexes of names, places, and selected subjects complete them.’
    • ‘Helpful appendices, extensive references, and subject and name indices conclude the volume.’
    • ‘Intuition finds a disproportion between 5000 illustrations and a subject index of forty pages.’
    • ‘For one, the book contains a definitive bibliography and indices on the subject.’
    • ‘The index and bibliography are thorough as well.’
    • ‘Separate name and subject indexes provide an efficient tool to guide selective reading.’
    • ‘The book includes a word index and a name and subject index.’
    • ‘The first part of the book was an index indicating what page each category started on.’
    • ‘Endnotes, bibliography, and an index of names and subjects facilitate scholarly use and quick reference.’
    • ‘A comprehensive, combined name and subject index forms the concluding section.’
    • ‘The volume concludes with a 200-page name index for on- and off-screen personnel.’
    1. 1.1 An alphabetical list by title, subject, author, or other category of a collection of books or documents, e.g., in a library.
      • ‘A helpful index leads researchers to documents relating to their favorite subjects.’
      • ‘Some libraries have created indexes to these works.’
      • ‘The paleontological reprint collection is catalogued on index cards and is not yet available in computer format.’
      • ‘Audit documents must include an index that identifies preparers and reviewers and work completion date.’
      • ‘All library items are listed through a main author, title, and subject index.’
      • ‘Disk number one contains the index for the entire collection, including small pictures of every catalogue page.’
      • ‘The authors searched several electronic indexes and reference lists of retrieved publications, and hand searched abstracts and conference proceedings.’
      • ‘When the university received the documents, he says, they were in such disarray that it took years to organize the pages enough to even create an index for the collection.’
      • ‘Could this mean that the differing titles were all the result of a long-dead library clerk having incorrectly entered the book's title details on an index card?’
      • ‘Libraries that use card indices may seem archaic, but they are actually very modern.’
      • ‘Additionally, Regulation 68.2 states that audit documentation must include an index or guide to the documentation.’
      • ‘Examples of finding aids include collection indexes, inventories, registers and guides.’
      • ‘One ongoing goal is the archiving of past issues and the maintenance of an author index online; we continue to work towards the completion of this goal.’
      • ‘The other documents included in the bundle were not accompanied by any explanatory commentary, but there was an indexto them.’
      • ‘Every title deed should be documented as per this index only.’
      • ‘My learned friend has drawn attention to the documents, the indices that were prepared and there was some correspondence about it.’
      register, list, listing, inventory, directory, guide, key, catalogue, table of contents
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2
    3. 1.3Computing A set of items each of which specifies one of the records of a file and contains information about its address.
      • ‘A bit-mapped index looks like a spreadsheet with the possible values as column headings and record numbers as row headings.’
      • ‘The method includes a tag counting system for indexing structured documents and for implementing the structure indexes within the relational database.’
      • ‘Each search engine has their own set of rules, algorithms, regulations, etc., that they apply to web sites that become part of their indices or databases.’
      • ‘To achieve the functionality, the author discusses the use of XML files to maintain and parse the index.’
      • ‘I've used backup products with on-line indexes but no way to rebuild them from tape.’
      • ‘This is because you need to wait for search engines to update their index with the current information.’
  • 2An indicator, sign, or measure of something.

    ‘exam results may serve as an index of the teacher's effectiveness’
    • ‘It is an index of censorship's staying power that Joyce can be affirmed and celebrated as a great artist in a context where his enlightened and - yes - liberal views are traduced.’
    • ‘For the vast majority of us, a handicap is an index of inadequacy - a measure of the distance by which we fall short.’
    • ‘I show that it is best explicable as an index of old-fashioned attitudes and that its correlation with racism simply shows that it is now old-fashioned to avow openly racist attitudes.’
    • ‘Much of the current research on nonmainstream schools centers on outcome evaluation studies that document school efficacy on indices such as academic success.’
    • ‘The state of the love life in this sign is the index of overall happiness.’
    • ‘The viewer can fall in love with resemblances, or can play detective, looking at signs as an index of a process.’
    • ‘In 1932 one could be a liberal and a progressive and still consistently support the Tuskegee Study; involvement in the project was not necessarily an index of bigotry or racism.’
    • ‘The drop in organised sector employment and the growing casualisation of labour is then an index of a general failure of policy since the 1990s - not cause but consequence.’
    • ‘In spite of the widespread acceptance of withdrawal symptoms as an index of addiction, this consensual faith does not appear to be justified.’
    • ‘Life expectancy is looked on as a measure of civilisation, if not the principal index of cultural achievement.’
    • ‘Another approach is to evaluate patients when their symptoms and signs raise the index of suspicion of depression.’
    • ‘However, she said, the confidence index in many categories stayed below the 100-point level for the 13 th consecutive month.’
    • ‘The arm circumference of each child was measured as an index of nutritional status.’
    guide, clue, hint, indication, indicator, lead, sign, signal, mark, token, evidence, symptom, implication, intimation, suggestion
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A figure in a system or scale representing the average value of specified prices, shares, or other items as compared with some reference figure.
      ‘the hundred-shares index closed down 9.3’
      • ‘Obviously, under these conditions monetary pumping can not generate a sustained up-trend in price indices.’
      • ‘Price indexes necessarily average out the extremes; they are unable to signal the more subtle price movements and they leave out relevant items such as asset prices.’
      • ‘For economic and monetary policy formulation, the price index represents a central indicator.’
      • ‘Investors can bet on individual shares or stock indices, such as the Iseq, Ftse 100, Dow Jones, or Nasdaq going up or down.’
      • ‘The share index rose from 894.85 points recorded the previous week, representing a rise of 3.76 per cent.’
      • ‘Some charting features allow you to compare individual shares to indices and industry sectors.’
      • ‘Despite the fact there are house price and share indices aplenty, comparing the long-term performance of these two assets is not easy.’
      • ‘The construction of price indices is an attempt at the impossible mission of establishing a nonexistent price level.’
      • ‘So this may indicate that those punters betting on shares prices, indices, commodity prices and the like actually do worse than the more traditional sports betting activities.’
      • ‘Financial spread betting gives retail investors an opportunity to bet on individual shares, stock indices or currencies.’
      • ‘These latest trends ignore the impact of oil and gasoline prices, which will begin to show up in the March and April price indexes.’
      • ‘Companies selected to be added or removed from the index often have wide price swings resulting from investors buying and selling shares of new members.’
      • ‘And this spring, the core price indexes, which exclude food and fuel, have posted modest increases.’
      • ‘There was no price change and the index remained unchanged at 385.95.’
      • ‘Also because share prices and indices can be that much more volatile the consequences can be quite devastating should things go wrong.’
      • ‘Therefore monetary expansion will distort the structure of relative prices - even if a price index does not change - and might thus precipitate crisis.’
      • ‘The entire share prices of the listed and quoted companies remained unchanged leading the share index to remain constant.’
      • ‘We excluded food items from the price indexes when the average household food expenditure share was not available.’
      • ‘Within the index increases were recorded in dwelling approvals, the share price index, and the money supply.’
      • ‘The minimum wage differs from one province to another due to differing price indexes and average per capita income.’
    2. 2.2with modifier A number giving the magnitude of a physical property or another measured phenomenon in terms of a standard.
      ‘the oral hygiene index was calculated as the sum of the debris and calculus indices’
      • ‘First, fixation index estimates showed more random variation across generations with decreasing total numbers of populations.’
      • ‘For instance, higher GI index foods such as a baked potato or a serving of rice with your main meal.’
      • ‘The emotional response index ranges from 0.0 to 1.0.’
      • ‘The number of cigarettes smoked has been ‘significantly related’ to the headache index score and to the number of days with headache each week.’
      • ‘For all patients, we found no difference in respect of patient enablement index scores.’
      • ‘‘Diversity index scores are just a starting place for looking at diversity,’ Parker emphasizes.’
      • ‘Although there was a great deal of scatter, the conservation index scores decreased with increasing distance from the closest exon.’
      • ‘Likewise, pain management index scores were not associated with satisfaction in the bivariate correlation analysis.’
      • ‘Efficacy, judged by a standard disease activity index, did not fall off.’
      • ‘If the history or examination suggest possible hypogonadism, free testosterone or androgen index assessment is preferred.’
      • ‘By design, the composite deprivation index increases across tenths with the largest increase between tenths 9 and 10.’
      • ‘Although mental development index scores decreased over time for both groups of infants, children prenatally exposed to cocaine had scores that decreased faster.’
      • ‘Pain management index scores were measured in one setting.’
      • ‘Clinical assessments of the venous ulcers, based on the criteria of the severity scale, were performed and each ulcer was assigned a severity index score.’
      • ‘At the end of March, the air pollution index shot up to 174, a record high.’
      • ‘In this experiment, both sperm index evaluation and mating tests were performed on males from each of 146 different genotypes.’
      • ‘A total of 100 first-degree adult relatives of 40 gastric cancer index patients were recruited for the study, as were two control groups.’
      • ‘Current care provision is inadequate, at least according to dementia care index standards, and urgent action is required.’
      • ‘As controlling behaviour index scores increased, the proportion of women who reported experiencing violent incidents also increased.’
      • ‘Measured stomatal conductance vs. calculated stomatal conductance index under changing light intensities.’
  • 3Mathematics
    An exponent or other superscript or subscript number appended to a quantity.

    • ‘If we look at the indices of the Fibonacci numbers, we can directly predict which Fibonacci number will be the square of the hypotenuse.’
    • ‘The thesis contains a proof of the fact that for any closed manifold the sum of the indices of a generic vector field is a topological invariant, namely the Euler characteristic.’
    • ‘Step 3: Find the cobasic variable in the equation chosen in step 2 that has the smallest index and a positive coefficient.’
    • ‘The paper investigated sets of indices of partial recursive functions and of recursively enumerable sets.’
  • 4A pointer on an instrument, showing a quantity, a position on a scale, etc.

    pointer, indicator, needle, hand, finger, marker
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1Printing A symbol shaped like a pointing hand, used to draw attention to a note.

verb

[with object]
  • 1Record (names, subjects, etc.) in an index.

    ‘the list indexes theses under regional headings’
    • ‘Subjects indexed cover all aspects of medieval life from art and architecture to iconography, politics, religious life, sexuality, and women in literature.’
    • ‘Smokers' medical records should also be indexed so that they are readily identifiable and easy to retrieve.’
    • ‘All products are indexed and searchable by subject, artist, genre, art movement, size, price and more than 500,000 keywords.’
    • ‘Alternate names are indexed within the alphabetical listing with references to the proper heading.’
    • ‘Customer interactions are captured and indexed by topic, subject, date and time, result, etc.’
    • ‘Initially the data are read and reread to identify and index themes and categories: these may centre on particular phrases, incidents, or types of behaviour.’
    • ‘One-panel cartoons are also indexed by subject.’
    • ‘As images and sounds move onto the Net and are indexed and subject to search, there will arise rankings of leading images and leading sounds for particular moments in time.’
    • ‘I learn that St. Paul's marriage records, wonderfully indexed, are housed in the Ramsey County courthouse, just down the hill from the Minnesota History Center.’
    • ‘Taxonomic names are completely indexed, so that genus and species are given for each subspecific name.’
    • ‘The records can also be indexed in various ways simultaneously to ensure instant retrieval of files even in a repository the virtual size of the Grand Canyon.’
    • ‘Each section is indexed with subject listings so the reader can follow up his summaries and selective quotations in the full bibliography of over 1600 items.’
    • ‘While hundreds of ringtones and graphics are a nice thing to have, none of these are named or indexed in any way that I could find.’
    • ‘Instead of static, talking-head interviews, all are skillfully supplemented with stills and clips, and are indexed by subject.’
    • ‘Neither subject was indexed nor readily apparent in the table of contents.’
    • ‘The candidate-advertisers were indexed by name, state and office sought.’
    1. 1.1 Provide an index to.
      • ‘The researchers sought to highlight the importance of indexing in health education and provide information on where journals were indexed.’
      • ‘They have to catalogue and index the official record with them and have to publish important decisions and functions that affect people.’
      • ‘I now feel sad and inadequate that I don't have enough bookmarks to make filing and indexing them an issue.’
      • ‘Because I so copiously mark and index a book, I usually have no need of a bookmark - I simply flip through to find where the marking and indexing stop!’
      • ‘‘We're trying to index every book there is, and make it searchable for our users,’ the spokesman added.’
      • ‘I fail to see what the harm is in indexing a book and helping people find it.’
      • ‘It's not indexed by name or illustrated, but no matter.’
      • ‘The documentary runs 33 minutes, and is indexed into five chapters.’
      • ‘The book begins with a historical perspective on the National Medical Library, followed by a detailed explanation of the way the library indexes journal articles.’
      • ‘Articles and essays, as well as recent book reviews, are also indexed on-line.’
      • ‘The interview runs 21 minutes and is indexed in five chapters so one can conveniently jump to specific topics.’
      • ‘It's indexed into four chapters, and optional English subtitles are provided.’
      • ‘So there may be problems associated with the way it indexes saves in some cases.’
      • ‘This field actually is a Python dictionary indexed by the name of the channel.’
  • 2Link the value of (prices, wages, or other payments) automatically to the value of a price index.

    ‘legislation indexing wages to prices’
    • ‘Unlike the regular income tax, the alternative minimum tax is not indexed for inflation.’
    • ‘The list covered staff news letters, invoice printouts, diary management, home to work communications links and of course staff wages cross indexed with PAYE and tax codes.’
    • ‘Under the current system, initial Social Security benefits are indexed to average wage gains across the economy.’
    • ‘These payments are not indexed for inflation, which will erode the value of the payments.’
    • ‘The change will not affect the payment of benefits, which will continue to be indexed to the retail price index.’
    • ‘The British replacement rate is now lower than 20 per cent and steadily declining because UK basic pensions are indexed to prices rather than to average earnings.’
    • ‘In the present system, benefits after retirement are indexed to the consumer price index.’
    • ‘Starting in 1984, however, tax brackets were indexed for inflation.’
    • ‘If the minimum wage were indexed for inflation, it would be around $8.50 today.’
    • ‘Florida's new minimum wage is indexed to inflation, so the state will readjust the minimum every fall.’
    • ‘In addition, the majority of public servant pensions are indexed to the salary of the position from which they retired.’
    • ‘In many cases, the pension fund payments are not indexed to inflation, meaning they will not rise with inflation.’
    • ‘It's also the third, following Washington and Oregon, to index its minimum wage to inflation.’
    • ‘So instead of the Government being fair and deciding that it would index income tax rates as well as all those user charges, it has tried to pretend that it does not need to.’
    • ‘The municipal workers are demanding that serious negotiations take place and that their wages be fully indexed to the rate of inflation.’
    • ‘Whereas benefits are indexed to consumer price index inflation, revenue growth is driven by real wage growth.’
    • ‘Petrol, cigarette, and alcohol prices are indexed to inflation every year - it takes immediate effect.’
    • ‘Does anyone know why the minimum wage is not indexed to either inflation or wage growth, like social security?’
    • ‘Yet the Labour government refused to index link pensions to average earnings.’
    • ‘And should we index the minimum wage to inflation?’
  • 3often as noun indexingno object (of a machine or part of one) rotate or otherwise move from one predetermined position to another in order to carry out a sequence of operations.

    • ‘Newly developed software allows the gage to check parts during indexing without affecting machine layout or cycle time.’
    • ‘When a pass is complete, the barrel is rotated or indexed to the position of the next groove.’
    • ‘Disciplined training can achieve a state in which the subconscious mind takes care of gun indexing and trigger control and the conscious mind is just along for the ride.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin index, indic- ‘forefinger, informer, sign’, from in- ‘towards’ + a second element related to dicere ‘say’ or dicare ‘make known’; compare with indicate. The original sense ‘index finger’ (with which one points), came to mean ‘pointer’ (late 16th century), and figuratively something that serves to point to a fact or conclusion; hence a list of topics in a book (‘pointing’ to their location).

Pronunciation

index

/ˈinˌdeks//ˈɪnˌdɛks/