Describe the column structure of a MySQL table

The SQL command ‘describe’ allows you to view the column structure of a MySQL table. It provides a listing of the columns of a table, the type of each column, and additional information on each column.

To view the structure of a MySQL table called ‘recipes’ use the following SQL command:

describe recipes;

The command can be issued from any SQL source including an application with database connectivity (i.e., PHP, Java, etc.) or directly from mysql command (see Connect to a MySQL server using the mysql command for more information).


About Quinn McHenry

Quinn was one of the original co-founders of Tech-Recipes. He is currently crafting iOS applications as a senior developer at Small Planet Digital in Brooklyn, New York.
View more articles by Quinn McHenry

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6 Responses to “Describe the column structure of a MySQL table”

  1. January 07, 2009 at 1:38 pm, Niladri said:

    What is the alternate command of describe ??


  2. January 11, 2010 at 2:23 pm, Anonymous said:

    Thanks Dude,
    Thats what I was looking for all day :)


  3. May 18, 2010 at 6:26 pm, Ankit Singhania said:

    Thanks a lot for this..


  4. June 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm, M D said:



  5. October 01, 2011 at 12:54 am, aRGon said:

    can also do,

    show columns from table;


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