For Loop

What Does For Loop Mean?

For loop is a programming language conditional iterative statement which is used to check for certain conditions and then repeatedly execute a block of code as long as those conditions are met.


The for loop is distinguished from other looping statements through an explicit loop counter or loop variable which allows the body of the loop to know the exact sequencing of each iteration.

Techopedia Explains For Loop

The For loop is used in many imperative programming languages notably C and C++ and comes from the English word 'for' which is used to state the purpose of an object or action, in this case the purpose and details of the iteration.

For loops are generally used when the number of iterations is known or already established. For loops in different languages differ mainly by syntax and how the statements work as well as the level of expressiveness supported. But they generally fall into one of the following categories:

  • Traditional For loops – found in C/C++ and contains three parts: the initialization, the condition, and afterthought or commonly known as increment/decrement.
  • Iterator-based loops – this allows for the enumeration of a set of items which can be things other than number sequences such as a list of students. This is characterized by an explicit or implicit operator such as the aforementioned list of students. The loop then takes on each of the values in the set.
  • Vectorized for loops – these acts as if processing all iterations are parallel

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…