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Java String compareTo() Method

❮ String Methods


Compare two strings:

String myStr1 = "Hello";
String myStr2 = "Hello";
System.out.println(myStr1.compareTo(myStr2)); // Returns 0 because they are equal

Try it Yourself »

Definition and Usage

The compareTo() method compares two strings lexicographically.

The comparison is based on the Unicode value of each character in the strings.

The method returns 0 if the string is equal to the other string. A value less than 0 is returned if the string is less than the other string (less characters) and a value greater than 0 if the string is greater than the other string (more characters).

Tip: Use compareToIgnoreCase() to compare two strings lexicographyically, ignoring lower case and upper case differences.

Tip: Use the equals() method to compare two strings without consideration of Unicode values.


public int compareTo(String string2)
public int compareTo(Object object)

Parameter Values

Parameter Description
string2 A String, representing the other string to be compared
object An Object, representing an object to be compared

Technical Details

Returns: An int value: 0 if the string is equal to the other string.
< 0 if the string is lexicographically less than the other string
> 0 if the string is lexicographically greater than the other string (more characters)

❮ String Methods