Apply a Function to Multiple List or Vector Arguments

mapply is a multivariate version of sapply. mapply applies FUN to the first elements of each … argument, the second elements, the third elements, and so on. Arguments are recycled if necessary.

manip, utilities
mapply(FUN, …, MoreArgs = NULL, SIMPLIFY = TRUE,
       USE.NAMES = TRUE)
function to apply, found via
arguments to vectorize over (vectors or lists of strictly positive length, or all of zero length). See also ‘Details’.
a list of other arguments to FUN.
logical or character string; attempt to reduce the result to a vector, matrix or higher dimensional array; see the simplify argument of sapply.
logical; use names if the first … argument has names, or if it is a character vector, use that character vector as the names.

mapply calls FUN for the values of (re-cycled to the length of the longest, unless any have length zero), followed by the arguments given in MoreArgs. The arguments in the call will be named if or MoreArgs are named. Arguments with classes in will be accepted, and their subsetting and length methods will be used.


A list, or for SIMPLIFY = TRUE, a vector, array or list.

See Also

sapply, after which mapply() is modelled. outer, which applies a vectorized function to all combinations of two arguments.

  • mapply
library(base) mapply(rep, 1:4, 4:1) mapply(rep, times = 1:4, x = 4:1) mapply(rep, times = 1:4, MoreArgs = list(x = 42)) mapply(function(x, y) seq_len(x) + y, c(a = 1, b = 2, c = 3), # names from first c(A = 10, B = 0, C = -10)) word <- function(C, k) paste(, k), collapse = "") utils::str(mapply(word, LETTERS[1:6], 6:1, SIMPLIFY = FALSE))
Documentation reproduced from package base, version 3.3.2, License: Part of R 3.3.2

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