search all man pages for a given command

apropos command

The apropos command searches a set of database files containing short descriptions of system commands for keywords and displays the result on the standard output.
apropos oneword
apropos “string or phrase”

Search command / functions related to compare operation:
$ apropos compare

Search command to remove a file:
$ apropos “remove file”

rm (1) – remove files or directorie
man -K

-K option use to search for the specified string in all man pages.
man -K oneword
man -K “string or phrase”

Search all man pages for fopen word:
$ man -K “fopen”

/usr/share/man/en/man3/fclose.3.gz? [ynq]

Type y to open/display man page, n to continue search, q to Quit search.

This is probably very slow! It helps to specify a section (1-7).
$ man 3 -K “open”

Above commands also works with UNIX and *BSD oses.

(as stolen from:


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