Published May 21, 2021Updated Aug 18, 2022
Contribute to Docs

The LIKE operator returns TRUE if its first text argument matches the wildcard pattern in its second argument.


LIKE is commonly used in a WHERE clause to select rows based on a column matching a given string pattern.

FROM table
WHERE column LIKE pattern;

The pattern is made up of a string that includes the following wildcards:

  • The percent character % matches zero to any number of arbitrary characters.
  • The underscore character _ matches a single arbitrary character.


Select all rows where the column‘s value has “H” as the second character:

SELECT * FROM table WHERE column LIKE '_H%';

The matches would include values like “THE” and “WHERE” but not “HOUSE”, or “BREATH”.

More examples are shown in the wildcards entry.

All contributors

Looking to contribute?

Learn SQL on Codecademy