SNOBOL is a programming language oriented to text processing. A notable feature is its support for patterns as a built-in data type, which could be used in pattern-matching. This is a capability few programming languages had until much later, when regular expressions were built into such languages as Perl. Even then, it took a while for regular-expression capabilities to catch up to SNOBOL, since classic regular expressions could not be recursive, unlike SNOBOL patterns. (The current Perl version does support recursive expressions, however.)
SNOBOL was widely used in universities from the 1960s through the 1980s, but has gone out of favor in recent years.