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

There are two wildcards often used in conjunction with the LIKE operator:

  • The percent sign % wildcard: means to match any sequence of characters (including empty character sequences).

    • %text: matches a string ending with "text".
    • text%: matches a string starting with "text".
    • %text%: Matches a string containing "text".
  • Underscore _ wildcard: means match a single character.

    • te_t: can match "text", "test", etc.
  • Other characters: The LIKE operator is case-sensitive for other characters.


> SELECT column1, column2, ...
FROM table_name
WHERE columnN LIKE pattern;


drop table t1;
create table t1(a varchar(20));
insert into t1 values ('abc'), ('ABC'), ('abC');
select * from t1 where a ilike '%abC%';

mysql> select * from t1 where a like '%abC%';
| a    |
| abC  |
1 row in set (0.00 sec)