I'm not sure what to call a query that... isn't really a query; is "statement" a better word to use in place? Or how about "script"?

Or would something else be more appropriate?

Note: I've seen someone call it a "DELETE query" once


I typically call them DML statements or just statements. Query is commonly used for convenience.

After all, you're issuing a query against the database - if you say...

DELETE dbo.table WHERE id = 5;

...isn't at least part of that a query? What about...

INSERT dbo.table1(col) SELECT col FROM dbo.table2 WHERE ... 


And no, I would not call them "scripts" - that implies something else altogether (usually a collection of statements, in a wide variety of languages, and commonly saved to a file).

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  • I generally use "statement" or "operation". – REW May 2 '14 at 17:54
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    @REW strictly speaking, I interpret operation as the effect of the statement, not the statement itself. A DELETE operation physically happens because a DELETE statement was issued. The statement on its own does not cause an operation until someone executes it. – Aaron Bertrand May 2 '14 at 17:56

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