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SQL LIKE Operator


The LIKE operator is used in a WHERE clause to search for a specified pattern in a column.


The SQL LIKE Operator

The LIKE operator is used to search for a specified pattern in a column.

SQL LIKE Syntax

SELECT column_name(s)
FROM table_name
WHERE column_name LIKE pattern;

Demo Database

In this tutorial we will use the well-known Northwind sample database.

Below is a selection from the "Customers" table:

CustomerID CustomerName ContactName Address City PostalCode Country
1

Alfreds Futterkiste Maria Anders Obere Str. 57 Berlin 12209 Germany
2 Ana Trujillo Emparedados y helados Ana Trujillo Avda. de la Constitución 2222 México D.F. 05021 Mexico
3 Antonio Moreno Taquería Antonio Moreno Mataderos 2312 México D.F. 05023 Mexico
4

Around the Horn Thomas Hardy 120 Hanover Sq. London WA1 1DP UK
5 Berglunds snabbköp Christina Berglund Berguvsvägen 8 Luleå S-958 22 Sweden

SQL LIKE Operator Examples

The following SQL statement selects all customers with a City starting with the letter "s":

Example

SELECT * FROM Customers
WHERE City LIKE 's%';

Try it yourself »

Tip: The "%" sign is used to define wildcards (missing letters) both before and after the pattern. You will learn more about wildcards in the next chapter.

The following SQL statement selects all customers with a City ending with the letter "s":

Example

SELECT * FROM Customers
WHERE City LIKE '%s';

Try it yourself »

The following SQL statement selects all customers with a Country containing the pattern "land":

Example

SELECT * FROM Customers
WHERE Country LIKE '%land%';

Try it yourself »

Using the NOT keyword allows you to select records that do NOT match the pattern.

The following SQL statement selects all customers with Country NOT containing the pattern "land":

Example

SELECT * FROM Customers
WHERE Country NOT LIKE '%land%';

Try it yourself »