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The yield keyword is used to pause and resume a generator function (function* or legacy generator function).


[rv] = yield [expression];
Defines the value to return from the generator function via the iterator protocol. If omitted, undefined is returned instead.

Returns the optional value passed to the generator's next() method to resume its execution.


The yield keyword causes generator function execution to pause and the value of the expression following the yield keyword is returned to the generator's caller. It can be thought of as a generator-based version of the return keyword.

The yield keyword actually returns an IteratorResult object with two properties, value and done. The value property is the result of evaluating the yield expression, and done is false, indicating that the generator function has not fully completed.

Once paused on a yield expression, the generator's code execution remains paused until the generator's next() method is called. Each time the generator's next() method is called, the generator resumes execution and runs until it reaches one of the following:

  •  A yield, which causes the generator to once again pause and return the generator's new value. The next time next() is called, execution resumes with the statement immediately after the yield.
  • throw is used to throw an exception from the generator. This halts execution of the generator entirely, and execution resumes in the caller as is normally the case when an exception is thrown.
  • The end of the generator function is reached; in this case, execution of the generator ends and an IteratorResult is returned to the caller in which the value is undefined and done is true.
  • A return statement is reached. In this case, execution of the generator ends and an IteratorResult is returned to the caller in which the value is the value specified by the return statement and done is true.

If an optional value is passed to the generator's next() method, that value becomes the value returned by the generator's current yield operation.

Between the generator's code path, its yield operators, and the ability to specify a new starting value by passing it to, generators offer enormous power and control.


The following code is the declaration of an example generator function.

function* foo() {
  var index = 0;
  while (index <= 2)
    yield index++;

Once a generator function is defined, it can be used by constructing an iterator as shown.

var iterator = foo();
console.log(; // { value: 0, done: false }
console.log(; // { value: 1, done: false }
console.log(; // { value: 2, done: false }
console.log(; // { value: undefined, done: true }


Specification Status Comment
ECMAScript 2015 (6th Edition, ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Yield' in that specification.
Standard Initial definition.
ECMAScript Latest Draft (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Yield' in that specification.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 39 ? 26.0 (26.0) ? ? 10
IteratorResult object instead of throwing ? ? 29.0 (29.0) ? ? 10
Feature Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support (Yes) ? 26.0 (26.0) ? ? 10
IteratorResult object instead of throwing ? ? 29.0 (29.0) ? ? 10

Firefox-specific notes

  • Starting with Gecko 29 (Firefox 29 / Thunderbird 29 / SeaMonkey 2.26), the completed generator function no longer throws a TypeError "generator has already finished". Instead, it returns an IteratorResult object like { value: undefined, done: true } (bug 958951).
  • Starting with Gecko 33 (Firefox 33 / Thunderbird 33 / SeaMonkey 2.30), the parsing of the yield expression has been updated to conform with the ES2015 specification (bug 981599):
    • The expression after the yield keyword is optional and omitting it no longer throws a SyntaxError: function* foo() { yield; }

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: jameshkramer,