< cpp‎ | string‎ | byte
Defined in header <cstring>
int strcmp( const char *lhs, const char *rhs );

Compares two null-terminated byte strings lexicographically.

The sign of the result is the sign of the difference between the values of the first pair of characters (both interpreted as unsigned char) that differ in the strings being compared.

The behavior is undefined if lhs or rhs are not pointers to null-terminated strings.


[edit] Parameters

lhs, rhs - pointers to the null-terminated byte strings to compare

[edit] Return value

Negative value if lhs appears before rhs in lexicographical order.

Zero if lhs and rhs compare equal.

Positive value if lhs appears after rhs in lexicographical order.

[edit] Example

#include <vector>
#include <cstring>
#include <algorithm>
#include <iostream>
int main() 
    std::vector<const char*> cats {"Heathcliff", "Snagglepuss", "Hobbes", "Garfield"};
    std::sort(cats.begin(), cats.end(), [](const char *strA, const char *strB) {
        return std::strcmp(strA, strB) < 0;
    for (const char *cat : cats) {
        std::cout << cat << '\n';



[edit] See also

compares a certain amount of characters of two strings
compares two wide strings
compares two buffers
compares two strings in accordance to the current locale
C documentation for strcmp