The JavaScript Array object is a global object that is used in the construction of arrays; which are high-level, list-like objects.

Create an Array

var fruits = ['Apple', 'Banana'];

// 2

Access (index into) an Array item

var first = fruits[0];
// Apple

var last = fruits[fruits.length - 1];
// Banana

Loop over an Array

fruits.forEach(function(item, index, array) {
  console.log(item, index);
// Apple 0
// Banana 1

Add to the end of an Array

var newLength = fruits.push('Orange');
// ["Apple", "Banana", "Orange"]

Remove from the end of an Array

var last = fruits.pop(); // remove Orange (from the end)
// ["Apple", "Banana"];

Remove from the front of an Array

var first = fruits.shift(); // remove Apple from the front
// ["Banana"];

Add to the front of an Array

var newLength = fruits.unshift('Strawberry') // add to the front
// ["Strawberry", "Banana"];

Find the index of an item in the Array

// ["Strawberry", "Banana", "Mango"]

var pos = fruits.indexOf('Banana');
// 1

Remove an item by index position

var removedItem = fruits.splice(pos, 1); // this is how to remove an item

// ["Strawberry", "Mango"]

Remove items from an index position

var vegetables = ['Cabbage', 'Turnip', 'Radish', 'Carrot'];
// ["Cabbage", "Turnip", "Radish", "Carrot"]

var pos = 1, n = 2;

var removedItems = vegetables.splice(pos, n);
// this is how to remove items, n defines the number of items to be removed,
// from that position(pos) onward to the end of array.

// ["Cabbage", "Carrot"] (the original array is changed)

// ["Turnip", "Radish"]

Copy an Array

var shallowCopy = fruits.slice(); // this is how to make a copy
// ["Strawberry", "Mango"]


[element0, element1, ..., elementN]
new Array(element0, element1[, ...[, elementN]])
new Array(arrayLength)


A JavaScript array is initialized with the given elements, except in the case where a single argument is passed to the Array constructor and that argument is a number (see the arrayLength parameter below). Note that this special case only applies to JavaScript arrays created with the Array constructor, not array literals created with the bracket syntax.
If the only argument passed to the Array constructor is an integer between 0 and 232-1 (inclusive), this returns a new JavaScript array with its length property set to that number (Note: this implies an array of arrayLength empty slots, not slots with actual undefined values). If the argument is any other number, a RangeError exception is thrown.


Arrays are list-like objects whose prototype has methods to perform traversal and mutation operations. Neither the length of a JavaScript array nor the types of its elements are fixed. Since an array's length can change at any time, and data can be stored at non-contiguous locations in the array, JavaScript arrays are not guaranteed to be dense; this depends on how the programmer chooses to use them. In general, these are convenient characteristics; but if these features are not desirable for your particular use, you might consider using typed arrays.

Arrays cannot use strings as element indexes (as in an associative array) but must use integers. Setting or accessing via non-integers using bracket notation (or dot notation) will not set or retrieve an element from the array list itself, but will set or access a variable associated with that array's object property collection. The array's object properties and list of array elements are separate, and the array's traversal and mutation operations cannot be applied to these named properties.

Accessing array elements

JavaScript arrays are zero-indexed: the first element of an array is at index 0, and the last element is at the index equal to the value of the array's length (en-US) property minus 1. Using an invalid index number returns undefined.

var arr = ['this is the first element', 'this is the second element', 'this is the last element'];
console.log(arr[0]);              // logs 'this is the first element'
console.log(arr[1]);              // logs 'this is the second element'
console.log(arr[arr.length - 1]); // logs 'this is the last element'

Array elements are object properties in the same way that toString is a property, but trying to access an element of an array as follows throws a syntax error because the property name is not valid:

console.log(arr.0); // a syntax error

There is nothing special about JavaScript arrays and the properties that cause this. JavaScript properties that begin with a digit cannot be referenced with dot notation; and must be accessed using bracket notation. For example, if you had an object with a property named '3d', it can only be referenced using bracket notation. E.g.:

var years = [1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010];
console.log(years.0);   // a syntax error
console.log(years[0]);  // works properly
renderer.3d.setTexture(model, 'character.png');     // a syntax error
renderer['3d'].setTexture(model, 'character.png');  // works properly

Note that in the 3d example, '3d' had to be quoted. It's possible to quote the JavaScript array indexes as well (e.g., years['2'] instead of years[2]), although it's not necessary. The 2 in years[2] is coerced into a string by the JavaScript engine through an implicit toString conversion. It is, for this reason, that '2' and '02' would refer to two different slots on the years object and the following example could be true:

console.log(years['2'] != years['02']);

Similarly, object properties which happen to be reserved words(!) can only be accessed as string literals in bracket notation (but it can be accessed by dot notation in firefox 40.0a2 at least):

var promise = {
  'var'  : 'text',
  'array': [1, 2, 3, 4]


Relationship between length and numerical properties

A JavaScript array's length (en-US) property and numerical properties are connected. Several of the built-in array methods (e.g., join() (en-US), slice() (en-US), indexOf() (en-US), etc.) take into account the value of an array's length (en-US) property when they're called. Other methods (e.g., push() (en-US), splice(), etc.) also result in updates to an array's length (en-US) property.

var fruits = [];
fruits.push('banana', 'apple', 'peach');

console.log(fruits.length); // 3

When setting a property on a JavaScript array when the property is a valid array index and that index is outside the current bounds of the array, the engine will update the array's length (en-US) property accordingly:

fruits[5] = 'mango';
console.log(fruits[5]); // 'mango'
console.log(Object.keys(fruits));  // ['0', '1', '2', '5']
console.log(fruits.length); // 6

Increasing the length (en-US).

fruits.length = 10;
console.log(Object.keys(fruits)); // ['0', '1', '2', '5']
console.log(fruits.length); // 10

Decreasing the length (en-US) property does, however, delete elements.

fruits.length = 2;
console.log(Object.keys(fruits)); // ['0', '1']
console.log(fruits.length); // 2

This is explained further on the Array.length (en-US) page.

Creating an array using the result of a match

The result of a match between a regular expression and a string can create a JavaScript array. This array has properties and elements which provide information about the match. Such an array is returned by RegExp.exec (en-US), String.match (en-US), and String.replace (en-US). To help explain these properties and elements, look at the following example and then refer to the table below:

// Match one d followed by one or more b's followed by one d
// Remember matched b's and the following d
// Ignore case

var myRe = /d(b+)(d)/i;
var myArray = myRe.exec('cdbBdbsbz');

The properties and elements returned from this match are as follows:

Property/Element Description Example
input A read-only property that reflects the original string against which the regular expression was matched. cdbBdbsbz
index A read-only property that is the zero-based index of the match in the string. 1
[0] A read-only element that specifies the last matched characters. dbBd
[1], ...[n] Read-only elements that specify the parenthesized substring matches, if included in the regular expression. The number of possible parenthesized substrings is unlimited. [1]: bB
[2]: d


The Array constructor's length property whose value is 1.
get Array[@@species] (en-US)
The constructor function that is used to create derived objects.
Allows the addition of properties to all array objects.


Array.from() (en-US)
Creates a new Array instance from an array-like or iterable object.
Array.isArray() (en-US)
Returns true if a variable is an array, if not false.
Array.of() (en-US)
Creates a new Array instance with a variable number of arguments, regardless of number or type of the arguments.

Array instances

All Array instances inherit from Array.prototype. The prototype object of the Array constructor can be modified to affect all Array instances.


{{page('/en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Reference/Global_Objects/Array/prototype', 'Properties')}}


Mutator methods

{{page('en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Reference/Global_Objects/Array/prototype', 'Mutator_methods')}}

Accessor methods

{{page('en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Reference/Global_Objects/Array/prototype', 'Accessor_methods')}}

Iteration methods

{{page('en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Reference/Global_Objects/Array/prototype', 'Iteration_methods')}}

Array generic methods

Array generics are non-standard, deprecated and will get removed in the near future

Sometimes you would like to apply array methods to strings or other array-like objects (such as function arguments (en-US)). By doing this, you treat a string as an array of characters (or otherwise treat a non-array as an array). For example, in order to check that every character in the variable str is a letter, you would write:

function isLetter(character) {
  return character >= 'a' && character <= 'z';

if (, isLetter)) {
  console.log("The string '" + str + "' contains only letters!");

This notation is rather wasteful and JavaScript 1.6 introduced a generic shorthand:

if (Array.every(str, isLetter)) {
  console.log("The string '" + str + "' contains only letters!");

Generics (en-US) are also available on String.

These are not part of ECMAScript standards and they are not supported by non-Gecko browsers. As a standard alternative, you can convert your object to a proper array using Array.from() (en-US); although that method may not be supported in old browsers:

if (Array.from(str).every(isLetter)) {
  console.log("The string '" + str + "' contains only letters!");


Creating an array

The following example creates an array, msgArray, with a length of 0, then assigns values to msgArray[0] and msgArray[99], changing the length of the array to 100.

var msgArray = [];
msgArray[0] = 'Hello';
msgArray[99] = 'world';

if (msgArray.length === 100) {
  console.log('The length is 100.');

Creating a two-dimensional array

The following creates a chess board as a two-dimensional array of strings. The first move is made by copying the 'p' in (6,4) to (4,4). The old position (6,4) is made blank.

var board = [
  [' ',' ',' ',' ',' ',' ',' ',' '],
  [' ',' ',' ',' ',' ',' ',' ',' '],
  [' ',' ',' ',' ',' ',' ',' ',' '],
  [' ',' ',' ',' ',' ',' ',' ',' '],
  ['r','n','b','q','k','b','n','r'] ];

console.log(board.join('\n') + '\n\n');

// Move King's Pawn forward 2
board[4][4] = board[6][4];
board[6][4] = ' ';

Here is the output:

 , , , , , , ,
 , , , , , , ,
 , , , , , , ,
 , , , , , , ,

 , , , , , , ,
 , , , , , , ,
 , , , ,p, , ,
 , , , , , , ,
p,p,p,p, ,p,p,p

Using an array to tabulate a set of values

values = [];
for (var x = 0; x < 10; x++){
  2 ** x,
  2 * x ** 2

Results in

0	1	0
1	2	2
2	4	8
3	8	18
4	16	32
5	32	50
6	64	72
7	128	98
8	256	128
9	512	162

(First column is the (index))


Specification Status Comment
ECMAScript 1st Edition (ECMA-262) Standard Initial definition.
ECMAScript 5.1 (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Array' in that specification.
Standard New methods added: Array.isArray (en-US), indexOf (en-US), lastIndexOf (en-US), every (en-US), some (en-US), forEach (en-US), map (en-US), filter (en-US), reduce (en-US), reduceRight (en-US)
ECMAScript 2015 (6th Edition, ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Array' in that specification.
Standard New methods added: Array.from (en-US), Array.of (en-US), find (en-US), findIndex (en-US), fill (en-US), copyWithin (en-US)
ECMAScript 2016 (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Array' in that specification.
Standard New method added: Array.prototype.includes() (en-US)
ECMAScript (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Array' in that specification.
Living Standard  

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also