An index is a list of words or phrases and associated pointers to where useful material relating to that heading can be found in a document. In a traditional back-of-the-book index the headings will include names of people, places and events, and concepts selected by a person as being relevant and of interest to a possible reader of the book. The pointers are typically page numbers, paragraph numbers or section numbers. In a library catalog the words are authors, titles, subject headings, etc., and the pointers are call numbers. Internet search engines, such as Google, and full text searching help provide access to information but are not as selective as an index, ...

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  1. An alphabetical listing of items and their location.
    The index of a book lists words or expressions and the pages of the book upon which they are to be found.
  2. The index finger; the forefinger.
  3. A movable finger on a gauge, scale, etc.
  4. A symbol resembling a pointing hand, used to direct particular attention to a note or paragraph.
  5. That which points out; that which shows, indicates, manifests, or discloses.
  6. A sign; an indication; a token.
  7. A type of noun where the meaning of the form changes with respect to the context. E.g., 'Today's newspaper' is an indexical form since its referent will differ depending on the context. See also icon and symbol.
  8. A single number calculated from an array of prices or of quantities.
  9. A number representing a property or ratio, a coefficient.
  10. A raised suffix indicating a power.
  11. An integer or other key indicating the location of data e.g. within an array, vector, database table, associative array, or hash table.
  12. A data structure that improves the performance of operations on a table.
  13. A prologue indicating what follows.


  1. To arrange an index for something, especially a long text.
  2. To inventory, to take stock.

The above text is a snippet from Wiktionary: index
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