contains - test if a word is present in a list


contains [OPTIONS] KEY [VALUES...]


contains tests whether the set VALUES contains the string KEY. If so, contains exits with status 0; if not, it exits with status 1.

The following options are available:

  • -i or --index print the word index

Note that, like GNU tools and most of fish's builtins, contains interprets all arguments starting with a - as options to contains, until it reaches an argument that is -- (two dashes). See the examples below.


If $animals is a list of animals, the following will test if it contains a cat:

if contains cat $animals
   echo Your animal list is evil!

This code will add some directories to $PATH if they aren't yet included:

for i in ~/bin /usr/local/bin
    if not contains $i $PATH
        set PATH $PATH $i

While this will check if hasargs was run with the -q option:

function hasargs
    if contains -- -q $argv
        echo '$argv contains a -q option'

The -- here stops contains from treating -q to an option to itself. Instead it treats it as a normal string to check.