# what is the difference between matrix and array in the meaning and functions?

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mohammad
on 29 Jul 2014

Commented: Steven Lord
on 25 Jun 2022

##### 4 Comments

dpb
on 29 Jul 2014

An array is any ordered n-dimensional collection.

Star Strider
on 29 Jul 2014

### Accepted Answer

Arun Mathew Iype
on 29 Jul 2014

Edited: Jan
on 30 May 2017

I agree with what dpb said above. Here is the example which will help you visualize.

Matrix

mat_A= [1 2 3; 3 4 5; 6 7 8]

Conventionally this is shown in 2 dimenstions (2D) as:

Mat_A =

1 2 3

3 4 5

6 7 8

Arrays : May be of various dimensions. The above is a 2D array or matrix. A 1D array is called a vector. arr_1D = [1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9] We can also have 3D, as well as, ND arrays. In case of a 3D array, imagine a Rubik’s cube with each cell having a value inside it.

Here is and example using MATLAB "rand" function >> Arr_3D = rand(2,2,2)

Arr_3D(:,:,1) =

0.8147 0.1270

0.9058 0.9134

Arr_3D(:,:,2) =

0.6324 0.2785

0.0975 0.5469

##### 3 Comments

Steven Lord
on 25 Jun 2022

Another way to explain this is by looking at the help text for the ismatrix function.

help ismatrix

So a 1-by-1 array is a matrix. A 3-by-3 array is also a matrix. But a 2-by-3-by-4 array is not a matrix.

ismatrix(zeros(1, 1))

ismatrix(zeros(3, 3))

ismatrix(zeros(2, 3, 4))

### More Answers (1)

Robin Szeto
on 30 May 2017

##### 2 Comments

Stephen23
on 30 May 2017

Edited: Stephen23
on 30 May 2017

+1 This is true: all MATLAB array types are N-dimensional, with implicit infinite trailing singleton dimensions, as has been discussed many times before:

"Arrays in MATLAB are N-dimensional, with an infinite number of trailing singleton dimensions."

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