The Initial Release column in Table A-1 through Table A-3 indicates which metacharacters were introduced in Oracle Database 10g Release 1 and which in Release 2.

Table A-1. Character-matching metacharacters


Initial release




Matches any single character except for newline. Will match newline when the n flag is set. On Windows, Linux, and Unix platforms, chr(10) is recognized as the newline.

[ ... ]


Defines a matching list that matches any character listed between the brackets. You may specify ranges of characters, as in a-z. These ranges are interpreted based on the NLS_SORT setting.

A dash (-) is a literal when it occurs first or last in the list (e.g., [abc-]). A closing-bracket (]) is a literal when it occurs first in the list (e.g., []abc]). A caret (^) in the first position makes the list a nonmatching list (see the next entry).

[^ ... ]


Matches any character not listed between the brackets. Referred to as a “nonmatching list.”



Matches any character that belongs to the specified character class. May only be used within a matching list: [[:class:]abc] is a valid expression, [:class:]abc is not. Table A-5 lists the valid character class names.



Matches the specified collation element, which may be one or more characters. May only be used within a matching list. For example, the expression [[.ch.]] matches the Spanish letter “ch”. Table A-4 lists the valid collation elements.



Matches all characters that ...

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