MySQL - LIKE Clause

We have seen the SQL SELECT command to fetch data from the MySQL table. We can also use a conditional clause called as the WHERE clause to select the required records.

A WHERE clause with the ‘equal to’ sign (=) works fine where we want to do an exact match. Like if "tutorial_author = 'Sanjay'". But there may be a requirement where we want to filter out all the results where tutorial_author name should contain "jay". This can be handled using SQL LIKE Clause along with the WHERE clause.

If the SQL LIKE clause is used along with the % character, then it will work like a meta character (*) as in UNIX, while listing out all the files or directories at the command prompt. Without a % character, the LIKE clause is very same as the equal to sign along with the WHERE clause.


The following code block has a generic SQL syntax of the SELECT command along with the LIKE clause to fetch data from a MySQL table.

SELECT field1, field2,...fieldN table_name1, table_name2...
WHERE field1 LIKE condition1 [AND [OR]] filed2 = 'somevalue'
  • You can specify any condition using the WHERE clause.

  • You can use the LIKE clause along with the WHERE clause.

  • You can use the LIKE clause in place of the equals to sign.

  • When LIKE is used along with % sign then it will work like a meta character search.

  • You can specify more than one condition using AND or OR operators.

  • A WHERE...LIKE clause can be used along with DELETE or UPDATE SQL command also to specify a condition.

Using the LIKE clause at the Command Prompt

This will use the SQL SELECT command with the WHERE...LIKE clause to fetch the selected data from the MySQL table – tutorials_tbl.


The following example will return all the records from the tutorials_tbl table for which the author name ends with jay

root@host# mysql -u root -p password;
Enter password:*******
mysql> use TUTORIALS;
Database changed
mysql> SELECT * from tutorials_tbl 
   -> WHERE tutorial_author LIKE '%jay';
| tutorial_id | tutorial_title | tutorial_author | submission_date |
|      3      |  JAVA Tutorial |     Sanjay      |    2007-05-21   |   
1 rows in set (0.01 sec)


Using LIKE clause inside PHP Script

PHP uses mysqli query() or mysql_query() function to select records in a MySQL table using Like clause. This function takes two parameters and returns TRUE on success or FALSE on failure.



Sr.No. Parameter & Description


Required - SQL query to select records in a MySQL table using Like Clause.



Optional - Either the constant MYSQLI_USE_RESULT or MYSQLI_STORE_RESULT depending on the desired behavior. By default, MYSQLI_STORE_RESULT is used.


Try the following example to select a record using like clause in a table −

Copy and paste the following example as mysql_example.php −

      <title>Using Like Clause</title>
         $dbhost = 'localhost';
         $dbuser = 'root';
         $dbpass = 'root@123';
         $dbname = 'TUTORIALS';
         $mysqli = new mysqli($dbhost, $dbuser, $dbpass, $dbname);
         if($mysqli->connect_errno ) {
            printf("Connect failed: %s<br />", $mysqli->connect_error);
         printf('Connected successfully.<br />');
         $sql = 'SELECT tutorial_id, tutorial_title, tutorial_author, submission_date 
            FROM tutorials_tbl where tutorial_author like "Mah%"';
         $result = $mysqli->query($sql);
         if ($result->num_rows > 0) {
            while($row = $result->fetch_assoc()) {
               printf("Id: %s, Title: %s, Author: %s, Date: %d <br />", 
         } else {
            printf('No record found.<br />');


Access the mysql_example.php deployed on apache web server and verify the output. Here we've entered multiple records in the table before running the select script.

Connected successfully.
Id: 1, Title: MySQL Tutorial, Author: Mahesh, Date: 2021
Id: 2, Title: HTML Tutorial, Author: Mahesh, Date: 2021
Id: 3, Title: PHP Tutorial, Author: Mahesh, Date: 2021
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