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JavaScript Array sort() Method

❮ JavaScript Array Reference

Example

Sort an array:

var fruits = ["Banana", "Orange", "Apple", "Mango"];
fruits.sort();
Try it Yourself »

More "Try it Yourself" examples below.


Definition and Usage

The sort() method sorts the items of an array.

The sort order can be either alphabetic or numeric, and either ascending (up) or descending (down).

By default, the sort() method sorts the values as strings in alphabetical and ascending order.

This works well for strings ("Apple" comes before "Banana"). However, if numbers are sorted as strings, "25" is bigger than "100", because "2" is bigger than "1".

Because of this, the sort() method will produce an incorrect result when sorting numbers.

You can fix this by providing a "compare function" (See "Parameter Values" below).

Note: This method changes the original array.


Browser Support

The numbers in the table specify the first browser version that fully supports the method.

Method
sort() Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Syntax

array.sort(compareFunction)

Parameter Values

Parameter Description
compareFunction Optional. A function that defines an alternative sort order. The function should return a negative, zero, or positive value, depending on the arguments, like:
  • function(a, b){return a-b}

When the sort() method compares two values, it sends the values to the compare function, and sorts the values according to the returned (negative, zero, positive) value.

Example:

When comparing 40 and 100, the sort() method calls the compare function(40,100).

The function calculates 40-100, and returns -60 (a negative value).

The sort function will sort 40 as a value lower than 100.


Technical Details

Return Value: The Array object, with the items sorted
JavaScript Version: ECMAScript 1

More Examples

Example

Sort numbers in an array in ascending order:

var points = [40, 100, 1, 5, 25, 10];
points.sort(function(a, b){return a-b});
Try it Yourself »

Example

Sort numbers in an array in descending order:

var points = [40, 100, 1, 5, 25, 10];
points.sort(function(a, b){return b-a});
Try it Yourself »

Example

Get the highest value in an array:

var points = [40, 100, 1, 5, 25, 10];
points.sort(function(a, b){return b-a});    // Sort the numbers in the array in descending order
// The first item in the array (points[0]) is now the highest value
Try it Yourself »

Example

Get the lowest value in an array:

var points = [40, 100, 1, 5, 25, 10];
points.sort(function(a, b){return a-b});    // Sort the numbers in the array in ascending order
// The first item in the array (points[0]) is now the lowest value
Try it Yourself »

Example

Sort an array alphabetically, and then reverse the order of the sorted items (descending):

var fruits = ["Banana", "Orange", "Apple", "Mango"];
fruits.sort();
fruits.reverse();
Try it Yourself »

❮ JavaScript Array Reference