I'm trying to get everything on the matched line excluding the match using grep.

If I have

#define VERSION 0.1

The command should echo


I saw this question, but I only want things on the same line.

I read the man page, but I don't see anything that matches my specific usage case. Would a different command possibly be better than grep for this?

  • So you're searching for #define VERSION?
    – Dennis
    Mar 6 '13 at 14:45
  • Yeah. What I'm specifically doing is executing a shell command to get what VERSION is defined as and storing it in a macro in a Makefile.
    – Zach Latta
    Mar 6 '13 at 14:46

An easy way to achieve this is piping grep's output to sed:

command | grep "^#define VERSION" | sed 's/^#define VERSION //'

You can achieve the same result using only sed if you use the -n switch and the p (i.e., print) pattern for the regular expression. This will replace and only print lines that have been modified:

command | sed -n 's/^#define VERSION //p'

See: man sed


If your version of grep supports perl regex you can do it like this:

grep -oP '(?<=#define VERSION )[^ ]*$'

Otherwise use two invocations of grep:

grep '#define VERSION' | grep -o '[^ ]*$'

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.