In MATLAB, a for loop is a control structure that allows you to repeat a specific block of code several times. The syntax for a for loop in MATLAB is:

for loop_variable = start_value:increment:end_value
    % code to be executed

Here, loop_variable is a variable that is used to count the number of iterations of the loop. It starts at start_value and increments by increment each time the loop runs, until it reaches end_value.

For example, consider the following for loop:

for i = 1:2:9

This loop will execute the code inside the loop body (disp(i)) four times, with i taking on the values 1, 3, 5, and 7. The output will be:


You can use any variable name for the loop variable, and you can specify any start, increment, and end values you like. You can also nest for loops inside each other to perform more complex operations.

It is important to note that in MATLAB, the increment value must be a scalar (a single number). You cannot use a vector or an array as the increment value. Additionally, the end value must be reachable by adding multiples of the increment value to the start value. If this is not the case, the loop will not execute at all.


  • To programmatically exit the loop, use a break statement. To skip the rest of the instructions in the loop and begin the next iteration, use a continue statement.
  • Avoid assigning a value to the index variable within the loop statements. The for statement overrides any changes made to index within the loop.
  • To iterate over the values of a single column vector, first transpose it to create a row vector.