I am writing a small Mathematical expression parser and need a list of all Mathematica build-in Heads (system context?) so I can check the type of input.

Such as List,Integer,Times,Plus,Rational,Symbol,Real,Sin,Cos ,Power,Equal, and so on. i.e. those names which return from the command Head[..]. This does not include user level expressions ofcourse. Only system level Heads, obtained from Fresh kernel.

I googled and could not find an answer. May be this is something that can be obtained WolframLanguageData ? But I never used this, and when I looked at it, I did not see how to ask it for this.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ See e.g. here and maybe here. $\endgroup$
    – halirutan
    Jul 6, 2017 at 3:56
  • $\begingroup$ Names["System`*"] may help, but it gives you ALL symbols, not just those which are used in a "functional" form, i.e. function[...]. $\endgroup$
    – JEM_Mosig
    Jul 6, 2017 at 4:09
  • $\begingroup$ @JEM_Mosig yes I know this command. But I need only names of Heads, not all system level names. Many of the names listed there I do not think are names of Heads. For example $SoundDisplayFunction is listed from the above command. But is this a name of a Head? $\endgroup$
    – Nasser
    Jul 6, 2017 at 4:12

1 Answer 1


You can generate a list with

     dv = ToExpression[#, InputForm, DownValues],
     expr = ToExpression[#, InputForm]
    dv =!= {} && MemberQ[dv, HoldPattern[expr[__]], \[Infinity]]
   ] &

I am not entirely sure if this is complete, but it is a starting point.

Alternatively you can hope that the usage string of any function starts with "f[...] ...". There is no guarantee, but it seems to be this way. Then you can use

 With[{usage = WolframLanguageData[sym, "PlaintextUsage"]},
   If[StringMatchQ[usage, sym ~~ "[" ~~ Except["]"] ~~ __], sym, 
 {sym, Names["System`*"]}

Note, however, that this is very slow! I have done it with the first 200 symbols from Names["System`*"] and it took about 20 seconds.


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