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What Does Sargeable Mean?

A sargeable query, in the context of a relational database, is one where indexes can improve the speed and efficiency of a query. As a result, it is highly desireable to have sargeable SQL queries.


Sargeable is derived from a contraction of Search ARGument ABLE.

Techopedia Explains Sargeable

There are several circumstances where non-sargeable queries creep in:

  • Whether predicates in WHERE clauses and JOIN clauses will prevent the use of an index
  • Where a function is included in the left part of a condition of a WHERE clause
  • When the time required to perform a SEEK on a table is greater than scanning an index when joining one table or result set onto another. Usually a seek is much faster than scanning a whole table, but when you have to seek a lot of rows, a scan could be more efficient.

In most cases, the databases management system’s query optimizer will identify opportunities to improve queries by making them sargeable.


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