javascript – "Array-like objects" What are they; how to identify them?


I am not an expert in English, but reading about ES6 I have found on several occasions that they make mention of Array-like objects (especially when I read about Map , Set , WeakMap , WeakSet ), as in the following context:

Other collections support for-of too

for–of is not just for arrays. It also works on most array-like objects, like DOM NodeLists.

From what little I can understand, I think something like what jQuery returns when they query a list of elements with (example) $('a') .

I understand that an Array is already an object, but what does the term Array-like object refer to? How do I create one? What is the purpose in comparison to an array?


An array-like object is an object that resembles an array because it represents a set of elements and has a length property, however it does not directly have the Array.prototype methods that are very useful such as sort , filter , etc.

A very common example of this type of object is arguments which refers to the arguments that are sent to a function:

funtion foo(a, b) {

foo(1, 2); // imprime 1

By not being able to directly invoke any method of Array.prototype what we do is first convert it to an array:

var args =;

The slice method has the ability to work with array-like objects and therefore the conversion is possible.

Other examples are DOM objects obtained through methods like document.getElementsByClassName , known as NodeList . This is an alternative way to convert to array:

var nodeList = document.getElementsByClassName('.tuClase'),
var nodeArray = [];

Ideally you don't have to create this type of object, it will always be easier to use arrays when you need a collection of elements, this facilitates the integration of a program into a project, since if all functions use arrays there is no need to make conversions. You just have to be aware of what they are and their differences with the arrangements.

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