Matrix Multiplication

Multiplies two matrices, if they are conformable. If one argument is a vector, it will be promoted to either a row or column matrix to make the two arguments conformable. If both are vectors of the same length, it will return the inner product (as a matrix).

arith, array
x %*% y
x, y
numeric or complex matrices or vectors.

When a vector is promoted to a matrix, its names are not promoted to row or column names, unlike as.matrix.

This operator is S4 generic but not S3 generic. S4 methods need to be written for a function of two arguments named x and y.


A double or complex matrix product. Use drop to remove dimensions which have only one level.


Since R 3.2.0, promotion of a vector to a 1-row or 1-column matrix happens in even more cases, when one of the two choices allows x and y to get conformable dimensions.


Becker, R. A., Chambers, J. M. and Wilks, A. R. (1988) The New S Language. Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole.

See Also

For matrix crossproducts, crossprod() and tcrossprod() are typically preferable. matrix, Arithmetic, diag.

  • %*%
  • matmult
library(base) x <- 1:4 (z <- x %*% x) # scalar ("inner") product (1 x 1 matrix) drop(z) # as scalar y <- diag(x) z <- matrix(1:12, ncol = 3, nrow = 4) y %*% z y %*% x x %*% z
Documentation reproduced from package base, version 3.3.0, License: Part of R 3.3.0

Community examples

Looks like there are no examples yet.