Defined in header <string.h>
char* strpbrk( const char* dest, const char* breakset );

Scans the null-terminated byte string pointed to by dest for any character from the null-terminated byte string pointed to by breakset, and returns a pointer to that character.

The behavior is undefined if either dest or breakset is not a pointer to a null-terminated byte string.


dest - pointer to the null-terminated byte string to be analyzed
breakset - pointer to the null-terminated byte string that contains the characters to search for

Return value

Pointer to the first character in dest, that is also in breakset, or null pointer if no such character exists.


The name stands for "string pointer break", because it returns a pointer to the first of the separator ("break") characters.


#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>
int main(void)
    const char* str = "hello world, friend of mine!";
    const char* sep = " ,!";
    unsigned int cnt = 0;
    do {
       str = strpbrk(str, sep); // find separator
       if(str) str += strspn(str, sep); // skip separator
       ++cnt; // increment word count
    } while(str && *str);
    printf("There are %u words\n", cnt);


There are 5 words


  • C11 standard (ISO/IEC 9899:2011):
    • The strpbrk function (p: 368)
  • C99 standard (ISO/IEC 9899:1999):
    • The strpbrk function (p: 331)
  • C89/C90 standard (ISO/IEC 9899:1990):
    • The strpbrk function

See also

returns the length of the maximum initial segment that consists
of only the characters not found in another byte string
finds the first occurrence of a character
finds the next token in a byte string
C++ documentation for strpbrk

© cppreference.com
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Unported License v3.0.