get_term_by( string $field, string|int $value, string $taxonomy = , string $output = OBJECT, string $filter = ‘raw’ ): WP_Term|array|false

Gets all term data from database by term field and data.


Warning: $value is not escaped for ‘name’ $field. You must do it yourself, if required.

The default $field is ‘id’, therefore it is possible to also use null for field, but not recommended that you do so.

If $value does not exist, the return value will be false. If $taxonomy exists and $field and $value combinations exist, the term will be returned.

This function will always return the first term that matches the $field$value$taxonomy combination specified in the parameters. If your query is likely to match more than one term (as is likely to be the case when $field is ‘name’, for example), consider using get_terms() instead; that way, you will get all matching terms, and can provide your own logic for deciding which one was intended.

See also


Either 'slug', 'name', 'term_id' (or 'id', 'ID'), or 'term_taxonomy_id'.
Search for this term value.
Taxonomy name. Optional, if $field is 'term_taxonomy_id'.


The required return type. One of OBJECT, ARRAY_A, or ARRAY_N, which correspond to a WP_Term object, an associative array, or a numeric array, respectively.


How to sanitize term fields. Default 'raw'.



WP_Term|array|false WP_Term instance (or array) on success, depending on the $output value.
False if $taxonomy does not exist or $term was not found.


function get_term_by( $field, $value, $taxonomy = '', $output = OBJECT, $filter = 'raw' ) {

	// 'term_taxonomy_id' lookups don't require taxonomy checks.
	if ( 'term_taxonomy_id' !== $field && ! taxonomy_exists( $taxonomy ) ) {
		return false;

	// No need to perform a query for empty 'slug' or 'name'.
	if ( 'slug' === $field || 'name' === $field ) {
		$value = (string) $value;

		if ( 0 === strlen( $value ) ) {
			return false;

	if ( 'id' === $field || 'ID' === $field || 'term_id' === $field ) {
		$term = get_term( (int) $value, $taxonomy, $output, $filter );
		if ( is_wp_error( $term ) || null === $term ) {
			$term = false;
		return $term;

	$args = array(
		'get'                    => 'all',
		'number'                 => 1,
		'taxonomy'               => $taxonomy,
		'update_term_meta_cache' => false,
		'orderby'                => 'none',
		'suppress_filter'        => true,

	switch ( $field ) {
		case 'slug':
			$args['slug'] = $value;
		case 'name':
			$args['name'] = $value;
		case 'term_taxonomy_id':
			$args['term_taxonomy_id'] = $value;
			unset( $args['taxonomy'] );
			return false;

	$terms = get_terms( $args );
	if ( is_wp_error( $terms ) || empty( $terms ) ) {
		return false;

	$term = array_shift( $terms );

	// In the case of 'term_taxonomy_id', override the provided `$taxonomy` with whatever we find in the DB.
	if ( 'term_taxonomy_id' === $field ) {
		$taxonomy = $term->taxonomy;

	return get_term( $term, $taxonomy, $output, $filter );


5.5.0Added 'ID' as an alias of 'id' for the $field parameter.
4.4.0$taxonomy is optional if $field is 'term_taxonomy_id'. Converted to return a WP_Term object if $output is OBJECT.

User Contributed Notes

  1. Skip to note 5 content

    Examples to get terms by name and taxonomy type (taxonomy_name as category, post_tag or custom taxonomy).

    // Get term by name ''news'' in Categories taxonomy.
    $category = get_term_by('name', 'news', 'category')
    // Get term by name ''news'' in Tags taxonomy.
    $tag = get_term_by('name', 'news', 'post_tag')
    // Get term by name ''news'' in Custom taxonomy.
    $term = get_term_by('name', 'news', 'my_custom_taxonomy')
    // Get term by name ''Default Menu'' from theme's nav menus.
    // (Alternative to using wp_get_nav_menu_items)
    $menu = get_term_by('name', 'Default Menu', 'nav_menu');

    By id (term_id, not post_id):

    // Get term by id (''term_id'') in Categories taxonomy.
    get_term_by('id', 12, 'category')
  2. Skip to note 6 content

    Example of retrieving a category by it’s name:

    $category = get_term_by('name', 'Term Name', 'category');


    (object) array(
       'term_id' => 49,
       'name' => 'Term Name',
       'slug' => 'term-name',
       'term_group' => 0,
       'term_taxonomy_id' => 49,
       'taxonomy' => 'category',
       'description' => '',
       'parent' => 0,
       'count' => 286,
       'filter' => 'raw',
  3. Skip to note 7 content

    get_term_by() returns a single WP_Term object. Because of core changes from v4.1 – 4.3, it’s now possible for multiple terms to match the supplied name or slug parameters. The WP_Term Object returned will be the first matching term found by mySQL, there is no indication that other matching terms may exist. If there is any possibility of multiple terms having the same name or slug in your application, you should use get_terms() instead of get_term_by() .

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