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The string following whatever was matched by the last successful pattern match. (See "Scoping Rules of Regex Variables"). Example:

local $_ = 'abcdefghi';
print "$`:$&:$'\n";       # prints abc:def:ghi

See "Performance issues" above for the serious performance implications of using this variable (even once) in your code.

This variable is read-only, and its value is dynamically scoped.

Mnemonic: ' often follows a quoted string.