Instance Method


Returns the elements of the sequence, sorted using the given predicate as the comparison between elements.


func sorted(by areInIncreasingOrder: (Base.Iterator.Element, Base.Iterator.Element) -> Bool) -> [Base.Iterator.Element]



A predicate that returns true if its first argument should be ordered before its second argument; otherwise, false.

Return Value

A sorted array of the sequence’s elements.


When you want to sort a sequence of elements that don’t conform to the Comparable protocol, pass a predicate to this method that returns true when the first element passed should be ordered before the second. The elements of the resulting array are ordered according to the given predicate.

The predicate must be a strict weak ordering over the elements. That is, for any elements a, b, and c, the following conditions must hold:

  • areInIncreasingOrder(a, a) is always false. (Irreflexivity)

  • If areInIncreasingOrder(a, b) and areInIncreasingOrder(b, c) are both true, then areInIncreasingOrder(a, c) is also true. (Transitive comparability)

  • Two elements are incomparable if neither is ordered before the other according to the predicate. If a and b are incomparable, and b and c are incomparable, then a and c are also incomparable. (Transitive incomparability)

The sorting algorithm is not stable. A nonstable sort may change the relative order of elements for which areInIncreasingOrder does not establish an order.

In the following example, the predicate provides an ordering for an array of a custom HTTPResponse type. The predicate orders errors before successes and sorts the error responses by their error code.

enum HTTPResponse {
    case ok
    case error(Int)

let responses: [HTTPResponse] = [.error(500), .ok, .ok, .error(404), .error(403)]
let sortedResponses = responses.sorted {
    switch ($0, $1) {
    // Order errors by code
    case let (.error(aCode), .error(bCode)):
        return aCode < bCode

    // All successes are equivalent, so none is before any other
    case (.ok, .ok): return false

    // Order errors before successes
    case (.error, .ok): return true
    case (.ok, .error): return false
// Prints "[.error(403), .error(404), .error(500), .ok, .ok]"

You also use this method to sort elements that conform to the Comparable protocol in descending order. To sort your sequence in descending order, pass the greater-than operator (>) as the areInIncreasingOrder parameter.

let students: Set = ["Kofi", "Abena", "Peter", "Kweku", "Akosua"]
let descendingStudents = students.sorted(by: >)
// Prints "["Peter", "Kweku", "Kofi", "Akosua", "Abena"]"

Calling the related sorted() method is equivalent to calling this method and passing the less-than operator (<) as the predicate.

// Prints "["Abena", "Akosua", "Kofi", "Kweku", "Peter"]"
print(students.sorted(by: <))
// Prints "["Abena", "Akosua", "Kofi", "Kweku", "Peter"]"

See Also

Related Symbols