Matching a whole word Java Regular expressions:

The meta character "\b" matches word boundaries. i.e. it matches before the first and after the last word characters and between word and non-word characters.

Therefore to match a whole word you need to surround it between the word boundary meta characters as −



 Live Demo

Following Java example counts and prints the number of occurrences of the word test in the given input string.

import java.util.Scanner;
import java.util.regex.Matcher;
import java.util.regex.Pattern;
public class RegexExample1 {
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      Scanner sc = new Scanner(;
      System.out.println("Enter input text: ");
      String input = sc.nextLine();
      String regex = "\btest\b";
      //Creating a pattern object
      Pattern pattern = Pattern.compile(regex);
      //Matching the compiled pattern in the String
      Matcher matcher = pattern.matcher(input);
      int count =0;
      while (matcher.find()) {
      System.out.println("Number of occurrences of the word test : "+count);


Enter input text:
sample data: test test test
Number of occurrences of the word test : 3

Updated on: 13-Jan-2020

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