Find word with N non-consecutive instances of a certain character?

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I want to find a unique ID in a string:

text = "Hello World, aaaa_dddd_bbbb_cccc"

The only defining feature of the unique ID is that it is a single word that contains three underscores. However, for the life of me I can't even start of figure out the regex for matching words with N non-consecutive instances of a certain character.

The best I can do is a hacky use of .split():

unique_id = None

for word in text.split(' '):
    if len(word.split("_")) > 2:
        unique_id = word

>>> text = "Hello World, aaaa_dddd_bbbb_cccc"

>>>'(\w+_\w+){3}', text)
<_sre.SRE_Match object; span=(13, 32), match='aaaa_dddd_bbbb_cccc'>

The pattern matches one or more word characters followed by an underscore follwed by one or more word characters, three times.

From the docs:


Specifies that exactly m copies of the previous RE should be matched; fewer matches cause the entire RE not to match. For example, a{6} will match exactly six 'a' characters, but not five.

Corpus Linguistics and Linguistically Annotated Corpora, (c) (d) (e) (f) (h) (h) (i) (j) Find occurrences of two consecutive vowels (VV). make sure that only complete words are matched, not sequences inside a word as in affordable. Find words with exactly one w. (Hint: all other characters are not w). At any rate, now you’re ready to search. Hit the “Find Next” button to have Word locate and highlight the next occurrence of whatever you’re searching for. Here, it’s found our next italicised word. Click the “Replace” button to make the change. Hit “Find Next” to find the next occurrence and repeat.

You can use regex findall to get a list of all items that match eg:

text = "Hello World, aaaa_dddd_bbbb_cccc, 1_2_3_4"

import re
found = re.findall(r'[^_ ]*_[^_ ]+_[^_ ]+_[^_ ]*',text)

# -> ['aaaa_dddd_bbbb_cccc,', '1_2_3_4']

This allows strings starting and ending with a _ eg _1_2_3 if you don't want that you can change the first and last * to a +

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With straightforward regex pattern:

import re

s = "Hello World, aaaa_dddd_bbbb_cccc"
m ='\b([^_\s]+_){3}[^_\s]+\b', s)
result = if m else m


The output:


The pattern could be more strict (depends on what characters are allowed) like:

m ='\b([a-z0-9]+_){3}[a-z0-9]+\b', s, re.I)

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