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How to get a variable name as a string in PHP?

  • Last Updated : 15 May, 2019

Use variable name as a string to get the variable name. There are many ways to solve this problem some of them are discussed below:

Method 1: Using $GLOBALS: It is used to reference all variables available in global scope. It is an associative array which contains the reference of all variables which are currently defined in the global scope.

Example: This example uses $GLOBAL reference to get the variable name as a string.




<?php
  
// Declare and initialize a variable
$test = "This is a string";
  
// Function that returns the variable name
function getVariavleName($var) {
    foreach($GLOBALS as $varName => $value) {
        if ($value === $var) {
            return $varName;
        }
    }
    return;
}
  
// Function call and display the
// variable name
print getVariavleName($test);
  
?>
Output:
test

Method 2: Using $$ Operator: The $$var_name is known as reference variable where $var_name is a normal variable. The $$var_name used to refer to the variable with the name as value of the variable $var_name.
Example: This example uses $$ operator to get the variable name as a string.




<?php
  
// Declare and initialize a variable
$name = "test";
  
// Reference variable to store string
$$name = "This is a string";
  
// Display result
print($name);
  
?>
Output:
test



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