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Cypher manual

Cypher is a high-level query language for the property graph data model. If you’re coming from a SQL background, it’s syntax may seem familiar. Some common analogues between SQL and Cypher are listed below:


The features of Cypher that are different from SQL are listed below:

  • Joins between records from different node and relationship tables are specified using a graph-like syntax.
    • MATCH (n:Person)-[:Follows]->(m:Person)
  • Special syntax, such as the Kleene star * to describe variable-length and recursive joins.
  • Cypher does not have an explicit GROUP BY like SQL does — instead, grouping is done implicitly depending on the combination of bound variables in the RETURN clause.

There are a few other differences between SQL and Cypher. Yet, like other high-level database query languages, most of its semantics can be understood as mappings to relational algebra operators for selections, joins, projections and aggregations.

Kùzu implements openCypher’s1 standard predicates and expressions. The following sections in this chapter covers all Cypher clauses, expressions and functions implemented in Kùzu.


  1. openCypher is an open-source project that formalizes the semantics, style and grammar for the Cypher query language in order to make it more compatible to be used by multiple graph database vendors.