For example, if I define a function like this:


it gives the result like:

{{func[1], func[2]}, {func[3], func[4]}}

However, if I make a more specific define, like:

func = #*{1,1}&

then running the same code will create: {{1,2},{3,4}} instead of {{{1,1},{2,2}},{{3,3},{4,4}}}, like what it would normally do when you run {{func[1], func[2]}, {func[3], func[4]}}.

How come? What should I do if I want it to function as I wanted it to?

  • $\begingroup$ maybe use func[x_] := x {1, 1}; in defining func? $\endgroup$
    – kglr
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 9:05
  • $\begingroup$ func = Function[x, x {1, 1}, Listable] does also work... $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 18:19

1 Answer 1


"what should I do if I want it to function as I wanted it to?"

see: 29169

func = Function[x, x*{1, 1}, Listable];
func @ {{1, 2}, {3, 4}}
{{{1, 1}, {2, 2}}, {{3, 3}, {4, 4}}}

And in case you don't need to keep a 'pure function' approach you can define DownValues as usual:

func // Attributes= {Listable};

"how come?"

func is Listable but by giving OwnValues to it func=#*{1,1}& you make that attribute irrelevant because of a standard evaluation steps.

See: tutorial/TheStandardEvaluationProcedure

The head is evaluated before attributes 'fire'. So

  • func@{{1, 2}, {3, 4}}

  • #*{1, 1}& @ {{1, 2}, {3, 4}}

And there is no information about listability anymore.


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