Function and usage of get_taxonomies() in wordpress


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    The get_taxonomies() function in WordPress is used to retrieve a list of registered taxonomy names or objects. Taxonomies in WordPress are used to group posts and custom post types together. The most common taxonomies in WordPress are categories and tags.

    Function Definition:

    get_taxonomies( array $args = array(), string $output = ‘names’, string $operator = ‘and’ ): string[]|WP_Taxonomy[]


    1. $args (array, optional):

      • An array of key-value pairs to match against the taxonomy objects.
      • Default: array().
      • Example: To retrieve taxonomies that are public, you might use array('public' => true).
    2. $output (string, optional):

      • Specifies the type of output to return.
      • Accepts either 'names' (returns taxonomy names) or 'objects' (returns taxonomy objects).
      • Default: 'names'.
    3. $operator (string, optional):

      • Determines the logical operation to perform on the $args array.
      • Accepts 'and' or 'or'.
      • 'or' means only one element from the $args array needs to match.
      • 'and' means all elements in the $args array must match.
      • Default: 'and'.


    • Returns an array of taxonomy names or objects, depending on the $output parameter.

    Sample Usage:

    Example 1: Retrieve Names of Public Taxonomies

    $taxonomies = get_taxonomies( array( 'public' => true ), 'names', 'or' );
    print_r( $taxonomies );

    This example will return an array of names of all taxonomies that are public.

    Example 2: Retrieve Taxonomy Objects for Hierarchical Taxonomies

    $taxonomies = get_taxonomies( array( 'hierarchical' => true ), 'objects', 'and' );
    print_r( $taxonomies );

    This example will return an array of WP_Taxonomy objects for all hierarchical taxonomies.

    Use Cases:

    • Filtering Taxonomies: Useful for retrieving taxonomies that meet certain criteria, such as being public or hierarchical.
    • Custom Queries: Helpful in building custom queries where you need a list of specific taxonomies.
    • Theme or Plugin Development: Essential for theme and plugin developers who need to work with custom taxonomies.


    • The function is part of the WordPress Taxonomy API.
    • It is a flexible and powerful tool for developers to query and interact with the taxonomy system in WordPress.

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