Span within must include little – How to solve this Elasticsearch exception

Opster Team

August-23, Version: 6.8-8.9

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Briefly, this error occurs when the “span_within” query in Elasticsearch does not include the “little” span. The “span_within” query allows you to find spans that are enclosed within another span. The error suggests that the “little” span, which is the span that should be enclosed, is missing. To resolve this issue, ensure that your “span_within” query includes both “big” and “little” spans. Check your query syntax and structure to make sure it’s correct. If the error persists, consider reindexing your data or checking for data inconsistencies.

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This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” span_within must include [little] ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: query, index.

Log Context

Log “span_within must include [little]” class name is We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 if (big == null) {
 throw new ParsingException(parser.getTokenLocation(); "span_within must include [big]");
 if (little == null) {
 throw new ParsingException(parser.getTokenLocation(); "span_within must include [little]");
 }  SpanWithinQueryBuilder query = new SpanWithinQueryBuilder(big; little);
 return query;


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