The only function on the list of taxonomy.module functions that looks like it does what I want appears to be a private function (_taxonomy_get_tid_from_term).

What function am I supposed to use if all I know is the taxonomy term name and I need to find out its ID?


4 Answers 4


It's taxonomy_get_term_by_name() which you use as in the following code.

$term_array = taxonomy_get_term_by_name('Foo');
$term = reset($term_array); # get the first element of the array which is our term object
print $term->name;
  • 1
    That seems to give me an array rather than a TID. $foo[0]->tid doesn't do anything because it returns an array keyed with TIDs. So to get the TID I need the TID, or to do a foreach() even though it's only on one item? Otherwise: Undefined offset: 0
    – beth
    Commented Jul 10, 2012 at 14:32
  • 3
    It returns an array as there is nothing preventing multiple terms from having the same name. You can't know it's only one item.
    – Letharion
    Commented Jul 10, 2012 at 14:35
  • 2
    @beth, either use the second parameter to limit to a particular vocabulary, or loop through with foreach ($terms as $term) and check the $term->vid to make sure you have the right one.
    – mpdonadio
    Commented Jul 10, 2012 at 14:37
  • I just quickly typed in the D6 version that I am used to. I see now from your links/urls included that you are running D7. The comments above should clarify things for you.
    – Jimajamma
    Commented Jul 10, 2012 at 14:42

taxonomy_get_term_by_name() will do the trick:

$terms = taxonomy_get_term_by_name($row->field_term_name);
if (!empty($terms)) {
  $first_term = array_shift($terms);
  print $first_term->tid;
  • 4
    There is also a second argument that got added to Drupal 7 to limit this to a particular vocabulary. This eliminates the need to loop through the results to find the term you want when you may have multiple tids that share the same name.
    – mpdonadio
    Commented Jul 2, 2013 at 18:44
  • 2
    Missing semicolon in the line $first_term = array_shift($terms);
    – Kevin Siji
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 4:41

Here's a Drupal 8/9/+ answer, designed as a static PHP class method:

   * Utility: find term by name and vid.
   * @param string $name
   *   Term name.
   * @param string $vid
   *   Term vid.
   * @return int
   *   Term id, or 0 if none.
  public static function getTidByName($name = NULL, $vid = NULL) {
    if (empty($name) || empty($vid)) {
      return 0;
    $properties = [
      'name' => $name,
      'vid' => $vid,
    $terms = \Drupal::service('entity_type.manager')->getStorage('taxonomy_term')->loadByProperties($properties);
    $term = reset($terms);
    return !empty($term) ? $term->id() : 0;

This function worked for me:

 * Return the term id for a given term name.
function _get_tid_from_term_name($term_name) {
  $vocabulary = 'tags';
  $arr_terms = taxonomy_get_term_by_name($term_name, $vocabulary);
  if (!empty($arr_terms)) {
    $arr_terms = array_values($arr_terms);
    $tid = $arr_terms[0]->tid;
  else {
    $vobj = taxonomy_vocabulary_machine_name_load($vocabulary);
    $term = new stdClass();
    $term->name = $term_name;
    $term->vid = $vobj->vid;
    $tid = $term->tid;
  return $tid;

If you are using another vocabulary (different from Tags), then modify in the code above the line:

$vocabulary = 'tags';

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