C++ – How to iterate over the words of a string


I'm trying to iterate over the words of a string.

The string can be assumed to be composed of words separated by whitespace.

Note that I'm not interested in C string functions or that kind of character manipulation/access. Also, please give precedence to elegance over efficiency in your answer.

The best solution I have right now is:

#include <iostream>
#include <sstream>
#include <string>

using namespace std;

int main()
    string s = "Somewhere down the road";
    istringstream iss(s);

        string subs;
        iss >> subs;
        cout << "Substring: " << subs << endl;
    } while (iss);

Is there a more elegant way to do this?

Best Solution

I use this to split string by a delimiter. The first puts the results in a pre-constructed vector, the second returns a new vector.

#include <string>
#include <sstream>
#include <vector>
#include <iterator>

template <typename Out>
void split(const std::string &s, char delim, Out result) {
    std::istringstream iss(s);
    std::string item;
    while (std::getline(iss, item, delim)) {
        *result++ = item;

std::vector<std::string> split(const std::string &s, char delim) {
    std::vector<std::string> elems;
    split(s, delim, std::back_inserter(elems));
    return elems;

Note that this solution does not skip empty tokens, so the following will find 4 items, one of which is empty:

std::vector<std::string> x = split("one:two::three", ':');