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Java Stream collect() Method Examples

Java Stream collect() performs a mutable reduction operation on the elements of the stream. This is a terminal operation.

What is Mutable Reduction Operation?

A mutable reduction operation process the stream elements and then accumulate it into a mutable result container. Once the elements are processed, a combining function merges all the result containers to create the result.

Java Stream collect() Method Signature

There are two variants of Java Stream collect() method.

<R> R collect(Supplier<R> supplier, BiConsumer<R, ? super T> accumulator,BiConsumer<R, R> combiner)

<R, A> R collect(Collector<? super T, A, R> collector)

The Collector is an interface that provides a wrapper for the supplier, accumulator, and combiner objects. The second method is useful when we are utilizing the Collectors class to provide built-in Collector implementation. The three parameters of the collect() function are:

  • supplier: a function that creates a new mutable result container. For the parallel execution, this function may be called multiple times and it must return a fresh value each time.
  • accumulator is a stateless function that must fold an element into a result container.
  • combiner is a stateless function that accepts two partial result containers and merges them, which must be compatible with the accumulator function.

Stream collect() Method Examples

Let’s look at some examples of Stream.collect() method.

1. Concatenating List of Strings

Let’s say you want to concatenate the list of strings to create a new string. We can use Stream collect() function to perform a mutable reduction operation and concatenate the list elements.

    List<String> vowels = List.of("a", "e", "i", "o", "u");    // sequential stream - nothing to combine
    StringBuilder result =, (x, y) -> x.append(y),
    		(a, b) -> a.append(",").append(b));
    // parallel stream - combiner is combining partial results
    StringBuilder result1 = vowels.parallelStream().collect(StringBuilder::new, (x, y) -> x.append(y),
    		(a, b) -> a.append(",").append(b));


2. Stream collect() to List using Collectors Class

The Collectors class provides many useful implementations of the Collector interface. Let’s look at an example where we will filter the list of integers to select only even integers. Stream filter() is an intermediate operation and returns a stream. So, we will use the collect() function to create the list from this stream.

    List<Integer> numbers = List.of(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6);
    List<Integer> evenNumbers = -> x % 2 == 0).collect(Collectors.toList());
    System.out.println(evenNumbers);  // [2, 4, 6]

3. Stream collect() to a Set

We can use Collectors.toSet() to collect the stream elements into a new Set.

    List<Integer> numbers = List.of(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6);
    Set<Integer> oddNumbers = numbers.parallelStream().filter(x -> x % 2 != 0).collect(Collectors.toSet());
    System.out.println(oddNumbers); // [1, 3, 5]

4. Collectors joining() Example

We can use Collectors joining() methods to get a Collector that concatenates the input stream CharSequence elements in the encounter order. We can use this to concatenate a stream of strings, StringBuffer, or StringBuilder.

    jshell> String value = Stream.of("a", "b", "c").collect(Collectors.joining());
    value ==> "abc"
    jshell> String valueCSV = Stream.of("a", "b", "c").collect(Collectors.joining(","));
    valueCSV ==> "a,b,c"
    jshell> String valueCSVLikeArray = Stream.of("a", "b", "c").collect(Collectors.joining(",", "{", "}"));
    valueCSVLikeArray ==> "{a,b,c}"
    jshell> String valueObject = Stream.of("1", new StringBuffer("2"), new StringBuilder("3")).collect(Collectors.joining());
    valueObject ==> "123"


Java Stream collect() is mostly used to collect the stream elements to a collection. It’s a terminal operation. It takes care of synchronization when used with a parallel stream. The Collectors class provides a lot of Collector implementation to help us out.

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