PHP 4, PHP 5, PHP 7, PHP 8
dirname - Returns a parent directory's path
Code Examples

dirname( string$path, [int$levels = 1] ): string

Given a string containing the path of a file or directory, this function will return the parent directory's path that is levels up from the current directory.


dirname operates naively on the input string, and is not aware of the actual filesystem, or path components such as "..".


On Windows, dirname assumes the currently set codepage, so for it to see the correct directory name with multibyte character paths, the matching codepage must be set. If path contains characters which are invalid for the current codepage, the behavior of dirname is undefined.

On other systems, dirname assumes path to be encoded in an ASCII compatible encoding. Otherwise the behavior of the the function is undefined.



A path.

On Windows, both slash (/) and backslash (\) are used as directory separator character. In other environments, it is the forward slash (/).


The number of parent directories to go up.

This must be an integer greater than 0.

Return Values

Returns the path of a parent directory. If there are no slashes in path, a dot ('.') is returned, indicating the current directory. Otherwise, the returned string is path with any trailing /component removed.


Be careful when using this function in a loop that can reach the top-level directory as this can result in an infinite loop.

('.');    // Will return '.'.
dirname('/');    // Will return `\` on Windows and '/' on *nix systems.
dirname('\\');   // Will return `\` on Windows and '.' on *nix systems.
dirname('C:\\'); // Will return 'C:\' on Windows and '.' on *nix systems.


Version Description
7.0.0 Added the optional levels parameter.

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