In SQLite, the COLLATE operator is used to specify how the comparison of string values should be performed in queries. When two strings are compared, the COLLATE operator determines the order of the characters and the way that the comparison is made.

SQLite provides several collation functions that can be used to customize the comparison of string values. The most commonly used collation function is BINARY, which performs a case-sensitive comparison of strings using the ASCII values of the characters.

Other collation functions that are available in SQLite include NOCASE, which performs a case-insensitive comparison of strings, and RTRIM, which removes trailing spaces from strings before comparing them.


To use the COLLATE operator in a query, simply append the operator followed by the collation function to the end of the column name. For example, the following query selects all rows from a table where the “name” column matches the string “John” using the NOCASE collation function:

FROM my_table 

By default, SQLite uses the BINARY collation function if no other collation function is specified.

It’s important to note that the COLLATE operator only affects string comparisons within a query, and does not modify the underlying data in the table. If you want to permanently change the collation of a column in a table, you will need to use the ALTER TABLE statement.

In conclusion, the COLLATE operator in SQLite provides a flexible way to customize the comparison of string values in queries. By choosing the appropriate collation function, you can perform case-sensitive or case-insensitive comparisons, or even customize the comparison behavior for specific languages or character sets.