Hamcrest Matchers

Hamcrest is a library of matchers, is an external add-on of the Junit Framework and Junit 4.12 comprises of depreciated Hamcrest matchers, not all of them.

How to add hamcrest methods into your project by IntelliJ as shown below.

For example, we are writing a JUnit test with hamcrest “Is” method. First, click “assertThat” and then press alt+Enter then click “Static Import Method…”


Then, select which library you want. I chose org.hamcrest


Then click “is” and press alt+enter and select “Static Import Method…”


Then, select “Is.is(org.hamcrest.core) method and import related hamcrest method.


You can import all Hamcrest methods in this way.

If you want to download all of the matchers into your project, you should add the source .jar files or you should add Hamcrest maven dependency.

Java sources and maven dependency descriptions can be found in this link http://search.maven.org/#search|ga|1|g%3Aorg.hamcrest and a sample maven dependency is shown below.

In this tutorial I will explain and show examples of core hamcrest methods. If you want to learn much more about hamcrest, you can find all detailed in formation in Hamcrest documentation link http://hamcrest.org/JavaHamcrest/javadoc/1.3/

Matchers are used with the org.junit.Assert.assertThat() method. You can find their descriptions and examples in below table.

MatcherDescription & Example
AllOfCalculates the logical conjunction of multiple matchers. Examined object must match ALL of the specified matcher.

assertThat(“myString”, allOf(startsWith(“my”), containsString(“Str”)))

AnyOfCalculates the logical disjunction of multiple matchers. Examined object matches ANY of the specified matchers.

assertThat(“myString”, allOf(startsWith(“your”), containsString(“Str”)))

DescribedAsAdds a description to a Matcher

assertThat(“Sunday”, describedAs(“Sunday is not Saturday.”, is(not(“Saturday”))));

IsDecorates another Matcher, retaining its behavior. In other words it checks given objects equality. Is method allows tests to be more meaningful/expressive.

assertThat(cheese, is(equalTo(smelly)))
instead of:
assertThat(cheese, equalTo(smelly))

IsAnythingA matcher that always returns true.

assertThat(“Onur”, is(anything(“Bla Bla Bla”)));

IsEqualIt checks given objects equality.

assertThat("str", equalTo("str "));
assertThat("str ", is(equalTo("str ")));

IsInstanceOf Tests whether the value is an instance of a class.

assertThat(myInstanceTest, instanceOf(InstanceTest.class));

IsNot<T> Creates a matcher that wraps an existing matcher, but inverts the logic by which it will match.

assertThat(“onur”, is(not(equalTo(“mike”))));
IsNull<T>Checks whether value is null

assertThat(myStr, is(nullValue()));

 IsSame<T>Creates a matcher that matches only when the examined object is the same instance as the specified target object.

assertThat(str1, IsSame.<String>sameInstance(str2));

In below code you can find usage of all matchers. I also tried to emphasize their descriptions with inline comments.

You can also check nice examples of hamcrest matchers in here: https://github.com/leveluplunch/levelup-java-examples/blob/master/src/test/java/com/levelup/java/hamcrest/CoreMatchers.java


  • You learned how to use and the meanings of hamcrest matchers.
  • You practiced with hamcrest matchers examples.


JUnit, hamcrest matchers, unit testing, test framework


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About the Author:

Onur Baskirt
Onur Baskirt is a senior IT professional with 10+ years of experience. He worked at Bahçesehir University, ST Microelectronics, Huawei and Ericsson as research assistant, design verification engineer and software test leader. Also, he worked as software test leader and software operations manager at Turkey's biggest technology retailer, Teknosa. Now, he is working as Head of Software Testing and Manager of two Development Teams at Kariyer.net. His current research areas are technical software testing, programming, and computer science. Formerly, he has several research works and papers on digital chip design & verification. His hobbies are sport, dancing, traveling, and nutrition. You can find detailed information about him on his linked-in page.

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