The for loop is a common concept in computer languages. When we want to apply the same logic (operations) to each element of a given array (vector or list in Clojure), we apply the idea of a for loop to that. In general, this involves incrementing (or decrementing) an index and performing a similar function on each element. However, the way to implement a for loop varies from language to language. Some use an index variable explicitly. Others use an iterator. Some use neither. Clojure takes a very different approach.

Clojure’s for is categorized as a sequence operator, like map(core function) or reduce. More importantly, in Clojure, for is used for list comprehension, which means it creates a list from a given list.

The syntax of the for macro is: (for [binding-form coll-expr filter-expr?] expr)

Try some examples.

user> (for [w ["LOVe" "coding" "hEllo" "worLD!"]]  ; like let, *for* takes binding-form
           (clojure.string/capitalize w))
("Love" "Coding" "Hello" "World!")

user> ; we can get the same result using the *map* core function
user> (map clojure.string/capitalize ["LOVe" "coding" "hEllo" "worLD!"])
("Love" "Coding" "Hello" "World!")

user> ; include only when length of the word exceeds 5
user> (for [w ["LOVe" "coding" "hEllo" "worLD!"] :when (> (count w) 5)]
           (clojure.string/capitalize w))
("Coding" "World!")

user> ; using let binding
user> (for [w ["LOVe" "coding" "hEllo" "worLD!"] :let [length (count w)]]
           (str (clojure.string/capitalize w) ": " length))
("Love: 4" "Coding: 6" "Hello: 5" "World!: 6")

user> ; when the input consists of multiple vectors
user> (for [x ["a" "b" "c"]
              y ["a" "b" "c"]
              z ["a" "b" "c"]]
           (str x y z))
("aaa" "aab" "aac" "aba" "abb" "abc" "aca" "acb" "acc" "baa" "bab" "bac" "bba" "bbb" "bbc" "bca\
" "bcb" "bcc" "caa" "cab" "cac" "cba" "cbb" "cbc" "cca" "ccb" "ccc")