The splice() method changes the content of an array by removing existing elements and/or adding new elements.


<var>array</var>.splice(<var>start</var>, <var>deleteCount</var>[, <var>item1</var>[, <var>item2</var>[, ...]]])


Index at which to start changing the array (with origin 0). If greater than the length of the array, actual starting index will be set to the length of the array. If negative, will begin that many elements from the end.
An integer indicating the number of old array elements to remove. If deleteCount is 0, no elements are removed. In this case, you should specify at least one new element. If deleteCount is greater than the number of elements left in the array starting at start, then all of the elements through the end of the array will be deleted.
If deleteCount is omitted, deleteCount will be equal to (arr.length - start).
item1, item2, ...
The elements to add to the array, beginning at the start index. If you don't specify any elements, splice() will only remove elements from the array.

Return value

An array containing the deleted elements. If only one element is removed, an array of one element is returned. If no elements are removed, an empty array is returned.


If you specify a different number of elements to insert than the number you're removing, the array will have a different length at the end of the call.


Using splice()

The following script illustrates the use of splice():

var myFish = ['angel', 'clown', 'mandarin', 'surgeon'];

// removes 0 elements from index 2, and inserts 'drum'
var removed = myFish.splice(2, 0, 'drum');
// myFish is ['angel', 'clown', 'drum', 'mandarin', 'surgeon']
// removed is [], no elements removed

// myFish is ['angel', 'clown', 'drum', 'mandarin', 'surgeon'] 
// removes 1 element from index 3
removed = myFish.splice(3, 1);
// myFish is ['angel', 'clown', 'drum', 'surgeon']
// removed is ['mandarin']

// myFish is ['angel', 'clown', 'drum', 'surgeon'] 
// removes 1 element from index 2, and inserts 'trumpet'
removed = myFish.splice(2, 1, 'trumpet');
// myFish is ['angel', 'clown', 'trumpet', 'surgeon']
// removed is ['drum']

// myFish is ['angel', 'clown', 'trumpet', 'surgeon'] 
// removes 2 elements from index 0, and inserts 'parrot', 'anemone' and 'blue'
removed = myFish.splice(0, 2, 'parrot', 'anemone', 'blue');
// myFish is ['parrot', 'anemone', 'blue', 'trumpet', 'surgeon']
// removed is ['angel', 'clown']

// myFish is ['parrot', 'anemone', 'blue', 'trumpet', 'surgeon'] 
// removes 2 elements from index 2
removed = myFish.splice(myFish.length -3, 2);
// myFish is ['parrot', 'anemone', 'surgeon']
// removed is ['blue', 'trumpet']


Specification Status Comment
ECMAScript 3rd Edition (ECMA-262) Standard Initial definition. Implemented in JavaScript 1.2.
ECMAScript 5.1 (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Array.prototype.splice' in that specification.
ECMAScript 2015 (6th Edition, ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Array.prototype.splice' in that specification.
ECMAScript 2017 Draft (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Array.prototype.splice' in that specification.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 1.0 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) 5.5 (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Chrome for Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)

Backward compatibility

In JavaScript 1.2 the splice() method returns the element removed, if only one element is removed (deleteCount parameter is 1); otherwise, the method returns an array containing the removed elements.

Note: The last browser to use JavaScript 1.2 was Netscape Navigator 4, so you can depend on splice() always returning an array. This is the case, when a JavaScript object has a length property and a splice() method, console.log() treats it as an Array-like object. Checking with an instanceof Array on it returns false.

See also

  • push() / pop() — add/remove elements from the end of the array
  • unshift() / shift() — add/remove elements from the beginning of the array
  • concat() — returns a new array comprised of this array joined with other array(s) and/or value(s)


© 2016 Mozilla Contributors
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License v2.5 or later.

Array JavaScript Method Prototype Reference