C++ STL Binary Search

  1. C++ STL binary_search() Overview
  2. C++ Program for Binary Search

If you want to understand Binary Search in detail, then refer to the binary search algorithm article.

C++ provides us with a ready-to-use function binary_search() so that we don’t have to implement the function ourselves. It is a very simple to use and efficiently implemented method and not prone to errors.

C++ STL binary_search() Overview


template <class ForwardIterator, class T>  
bool binary_search (ForwardIterator first, ForwardIterator last, const T& val);  
template <class ForwardIterator, class T, class Compare>  
bool binary_search (ForwardIterator first, ForwardIterator last, const T& val, Compare comp);  

Here, T can be any of the following: int, float, short, long, byte, char, double, and even a user-defined Object as well.

It checks whether an element inside [first, last) matches the target element X using the binary search algorithm. By default, it uses the less-than operator to compare elements, but we can also provide our own custom comp as described in the second template given above.


first A forward iterator pointing towards the first element in the given array range.
last A forward iterator pointing towards the last element in the given array range.
comp A user-defined binary predicate function that accepts two forward iterators as arguments and returns true if the two arguments are present in the correct order. It does not modify any arguments and follows the strict weak ordering to order the elements.
val The target element we are searching inside the given array range.


If it finds the target element, then it returns true; else it returns false.

#include <bits/stdc++.h>
using namespace std;

int main()
    vector<int> v = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6};

    if (binary_search(v.begin(), v.end(), 5)) {
        cout << "Element found" << endl;
    else {
        cout << "Element not found" << endl;

    return 0;
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