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grep

grep in Technology

tool, information science
A Unix command for searching files for lines matching a given regular expression (RE). Named after the qed/ed editor subcommand "g/re/p", where re stands for a regular expression, to Globally search for the Regular Expression and Print the lines containing matches to it. There are two other variants, fgrep which searches only for fixed strings and egrep which accepts extended REs but is usually the fastest of the three.
Used by extension to mean "to look for something by pattern". When browsing through a large set of files, one may speak of "grepping around". "Grep the bulletin board for the system backup schedule, would you?" See also vgrep.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Historical Examples
  • grep's eloquence was not so much excellent as impudent, for he surpassed all in stubbornness of speech.

    The Danish History, Books I-IX Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")
  • She still talks a good deal of the gute cornflecks and grep frut which we both enjoyed so much.

  • At this grep, shorn of his glibness of rejoinder, set spurs to his horse and rode away.

    The Danish History, Books I-IX Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")
  • For grep, by always punishing all who alluded in the least to this circumstance, had made it dangerous to accuse him.

    The Danish History, Books I-IX Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")
  • Westmar had twelve sons, three of whom had the same name—grep in common.

    The Danish History, Books I-IX Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")

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