The Math.sign() function returns the sign of a number, indicating whether the number is positive, negative or zero.




A number.

Return value

A number representing the sign of the given argument. If the argument is a positive number, negative number, positive zero or negative zero, the function will return 1, -1, 0 or -0 respectively. Otherwise, NaN is returned.


Because sign() is a static method of Math, you always use it as Math.sign(), rather than as a method of a Math object you created (Math is not a constructor).

This function has 5 kinds of return values, 1, -1, 0, -0, NaN, which represent "positive number", "negative number", "positive zero", "negative zero" and NaN respectively.

The argument passed to this function will be converted to number type implicitly.


Using Math.sign()

Math.sign(3);     //  1
Math.sign(-3);    // -1
Math.sign('-3');  // -1
Math.sign(0);     //  0
Math.sign(-0);    // -0
Math.sign(NaN);   // NaN
Math.sign('foo'); // NaN
Math.sign();      // NaN


if (!Math.sign) {
  Math.sign = function(x) {
    // If x is NaN, the result is NaN.
    // If x is -0, the result is -0.
    // If x is +0, the result is +0.
    // If x is negative and not -0, the result is -1.
    // If x is positive and not +0, the result is +1.
    return ((x > 0) - (x < 0)) || +x;
    // A more aesthetical persuado-representation is shown below
    // ( (x > 0) ? 0 : 1 )  // if x is negative then negative one
    //          +           // else (because you cant be both - and +)
    // ( (x < 0) ? 0 : -1 ) // if x is positive then positive one
    //         ||           // if x is 0, -0, or NaN, or not a number,
    //         +x           // Then the result will be x, (or) if x is
    //                      // not a number, then x converts to number

In the above polyfill, no extra type-coercing is needed to make (x > 0) or (x < 0) numbers because subtracting them from each other forces a type conversion from boolean to numbers.


Specification Status Comment
ECMAScript 2015 (6th Edition, ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Math.sign' in that specification.
Standard Initial definition.
ECMAScript Latest Draft (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Math.sign' in that specification.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung InternetNode.js
Basic supportChrome Full support 38Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 25IE No support NoOpera Full support 25Safari Full support 9WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 25Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yesnodejs Full support 0.12


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See also

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Last updated by: wbamberg,