Find highest value
Math Functions
PHP Manual


(PHP 4, PHP 5)

maxFind highest value


mixed max ( array $values )
mixed max ( mixed $value1 , mixed $value2 [, mixed $... ] )

If the first and only parameter is an array, max() returns the highest value in that array. If at least two parameters are provided, max() returns the biggest of these values.


PHP will evaluate a non-numeric string as 0 if compared to integer, but still return the string if it's seen as the numerically highest value. If multiple arguments evaluate to 0, max() will return a numeric 0 if given, else the alphabetical highest string value will be returned.



An array containing the values.


Any comparable value.


Any comparable value.


Any comparable value.

Return Values

max() returns the numerically highest of the parameter values. If multiple values can be considered of the same size, the one that is listed first will be returned.

When max() is given multiple arrays, the longest array is returned. If all the arrays have the same length, max() will use lexicographic ordering to find the return value.

When given a string it will be cast as an integer when comparing.


Example #1 Example uses of max()

echo max(13567);  // 7
echo max(array(245)); // 5

// When 'hello' is cast as integer it will be 0. Both the parameters are equally
// long, so the order they are given in determines the result
echo max(0'hello');     // 0
echo max('hello'0);     // hello

echo max('42'3); // '42'

// Here 0 > -1, so 'hello' is the return value.
echo max(-1'hello');    // hello

// With multiple arrays of different lengths, max returns the longest
$val max(array(222), array(1111)); // array(1, 1, 1, 1)

// With multiple arrays of the same length, max compares from left to right
// using lexicographic order, so in our example: 2 == 2, but 4 < 5
$val max(array(248), array(257)); // array(2, 5, 7)

// If both an array and non-array are given, the array
// is always returned as it's seen as the largest
$val max('string', array(257), 42);   // array(2, 5, 7)

See Also

Math Functions
PHP Manual