The message property is a human-readable description of the error.


This property contains a brief description of the error if one is available or has been set. SpiderMonkey makes extensive use of the message property for exceptions. The message property combined with the name property is used by the Error.prototype.toString() method to create a string representation of the Error.

By default, the message property is an empty string, but this behavior can be overridden for an instance by specifying a message as the first argument to the Error constructor.


Throwing a custom error

var e = new Error('Could not parse input'); 
// e.message is 'Could not parse input'
throw e;


Specification Status Comment
ECMAScript 1st Edition (ECMA-262) Standard Initial definition.
ECMAScript 5.1 (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Error.prototype.message' in that specification.
ECMAScript 2015 (6th Edition, ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Error.prototype.message' in that specification.
ECMAScript 2017 Draft (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Error.prototype.message' in that specification.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Chrome for Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: fscholz, Mingun, Sheppy, evilpie, Sevenspade, Waldo
 Last updated by: fscholz,