The is_callable() function is a built-in function in PHP that checks whether a variable is a valid callable function or method. A callable function or method is a function or method that can be called or executed.


The syntax of the is_callable() function is as follows:

bool is_callable(mixed $var [, bool $syntax_only = false [, string &$callable_name ]])

The function takes three parameters. The first parameter, $var, is the variable to be checked for being a callable function or method. The second parameter, $syntax_only, is an optional parameter that specifies whether to only check the syntax of the callable or to actually check if it can be called. The default value is false. The third parameter, $callable_name, is an optional parameter that is passed by reference and used to return the name of the callable if it is a string.

Example Usage

Here is an example of how to use the is_callable() function in PHP:

function testFunction()
  echo "Hello world!";
class TestClass
  public function testMethod()
    echo "Hello world!";
$var1 = "testFunction";
$var2 = [new TestClass(), "testMethod"];
$var3 = "not_a_callable";
echo is_callable($var1) . "\n"; // output: 1 (true)
echo is_callable($var2) . "\n"; // output: 1 (true)
echo is_callable($var3) . "\n"; // output: (false)

In this example, we define a function testFunction() and a class TestClass with a method testMethod(). We then define three variables: $var1 is a string containing the name of the function, $var2 is an array containing a new instance of the class and the name of the method, and $var3 is a string that is not a valid callable. We then use the is_callable() function to check whether each variable is a callable function or method. The output shows that $var1 and $var2 are valid callables (true), while $var3 is not a valid callable (false).


The is_callable() function is a useful tool for checking whether a variable is a valid callable function or method in PHP. It can be used to ensure that a variable can be called before attempting to call it, or to handle callable and non-callable variables in a particular way. By using this function, developers can ensure that their code is working with valid callables and avoid errors that may occur when attempting to call non-callable variables.

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