How can you execute a search query, that excludes all entries associated to a specific category?

Many answers say "fetch all the items associated to that category, and then filter them out" - However we have around 2000-4000 entries that we would like to exclude so do not feel this is feasible.

Effectively I want something like...

    ['targetElement' => [1,2,3], 'field' => 'category'],
    ['targetElement' => 'not 4', 'field' => 'category'],

So find all that are in category 1 or 2 or 3, but make sure they're not in 4.


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