RegExp.prototype[@@search]()

The [@@search]() method of a regular expression specifies how String.prototype.search should behave.

Try it

Syntax

regexp[Symbol.search](str)

Parameters

str

A String that is a target of the search.

Return value

The index of the first match between the regular expression and the given string, or -1 if no match was found.

Description

This method is called internally in String.prototype.search(). For example, the following two examples return the same result.

'abc'.search(/a/);

/a/[Symbol.search]('abc');

This method does not copy the regular expression, unlike @@split or @@matchAll. However, unlike @@match or @@replace, it will set lastIndex to 0 when execution starts and restore it to the previous value when it exits, therefore generally avoiding side effects. This means that the g flag has no effect with this method, and it always returns the first match in the string even when lastIndex is non-zero. This also means sticky regexps will always search strictly at the beginning of the string.

const re = /[abc]/g;
re.lastIndex = 2;
console.log("abc".search(re)); // 0

const re2 = /[bc]/y;
re2.lastIndex = 1;
console.log("abc".search(re2)); // -1
console.log("abc".match(re2)); // [ 'b' ]

@@search always calls the regex's exec() method exactly once, and returns the index property of the result, or -1 if the result is null.

This method exists for customizing the search behavior in RegExp subclasses.

Examples

Direct call

This method can be used in almost the same way as String.prototype.search(), except for the different value of this and the different arguments order.

const re = /-/g;
const str = '2016-01-02';
const result = re[Symbol.search](str);
console.log(result);  // 4

Using @@search in subclasses

Subclasses of RegExp can override [@@search]() method to modify the behavior.

class MyRegExp extends RegExp {
  constructor(str) {
    super(str)
    this.pattern = str;
  }
  [Symbol.search](str) {
    return str.indexOf(this.pattern);
  }
}

const re = new MyRegExp('a+b');
const str = 'ab a+b';
const result = str.search(re); // String.prototype.search calls re[@@search].
console.log(result); // 3

Specifications

Specification
ECMAScript Language Specification
# sec-regexp.prototype-@@search

Browser compatibility

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See also