The well-known Symbol.iterator symbol specifies the default iterator for an object. Used by for...of.


Whenever an object needs to be iterated (such as at the beginning of a for..of loop), its @@iterator method is called with no arguments, and the returned iterator is used to obtain the values to be iterated.

Some built-in types have a default iteration behavior, while other types (such as Object) do not. The built-in types with a @@iterator method are:

See also Iteration protocols for more information.

Property attributes of Symbol.iterator
Writable no
Enumerable no
Configurable no


User-defined iterables

We can make our own iterables like this:

var myIterable = {}
myIterable[Symbol.iterator] = function* () {
    yield 1;
    yield 2;
    yield 3;
[...myIterable] // [1, 2, 3]

Or iterables can be defined directly inside a class or object using a computed property:

class Foo {
  *[Symbol.iterator] () {
    yield 1;
    yield 2;
    yield 3;

const someObj = {
  *[Symbol.iterator] () {
    yield 'a';
    yield 'b';

console.log( Foo); // 1, 2, 3 
console.log(...someObj); // 'a', 'b'

Non-well-formed iterables

If an iterable's @@iterator method does not return an iterator object, then it is a non-well-formed iterable. Using it as such is likely to result in runtime exceptions or buggy behavior:

var nonWellFormedIterable = {}
nonWellFormedIterable[Symbol.iterator] = () => 1
[...nonWellFormedIterable] // TypeError: [] is not a function


ECMAScript (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Symbol.iterator' in that specification.

Browser compatibility

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See also