I'm looking to search a large MYSQL table for a string and only return results that aren't between parentheses. If my table looks like this:

|  ID   |Data                      |
|   1   |Some search term here     |
|   2   |Search term               |
|   3   |Search term (search term) |
|   4   |(Search term) search term |
|   5   |Here's the (search term)  |
|   6   |Never match this line     |

And I want to select the rows where "search term" (case-insensitive) appears, but not in parentheses, how can I write the REGEXP to achieve that?

IDs 1,2,3,4 should return. IDs 5 & 6 shouldn't.

The search term may include letters, numbers and punctuation (though it shouldn't need to support parentheses as they'll never be nested).


1 Answer 1


I hate regex(or dont get them) so:

SELECT id,data FROM table 
LIKE '%search term%';

SQL Fiddle


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