The global NaN property is a value representing Not-A-Number.

Property attributes of NaN
Writable no
Enumerable no
Configurable no

Syntax

NaN

Description

NaN is a property of the global object.

The initial value of NaN is Not-A-Number — the same as the value of Number.NaN. In modern browsers, NaN is a non-configurable, non-writable property. Even when this is not the case, avoid overriding it.

It is rather rare to use NaN in a program. It is the returned value when Math functions fail (Math.sqrt(-1)) or when a function trying to parse a number fails (parseInt("blabla")).

Testing against NaN

NaN compares unequal (via ==, !=, ===, and !==) to any other value -- including to another NaN value. Use Number.isNaN() or isNaN() to most clearly determine whether a value is NaN. Or perform a self-comparison: NaN, and only NaN, will compare unequal to itself.

NaN === NaN;        // false
Number.NaN === NaN; // false
isNaN(NaN);         // true
isNaN(Number.NaN);  // true

function valueIsNaN(v) { return v !== v; }
valueIsNaN(1);          // false
valueIsNaN(NaN);        // true
valueIsNaN(Number.NaN); // true

However, do note the difference between isNaN() and Number.isNaN(): the former will return true if the value is currently NaN, or if it is going to be NaN after it is coerced to a number, while the latter will return true only if the value is currently NaN:

isNaN('hello world'); // returns 'true'.
Number.isNaN('hello world'); // returns 'false'.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
ECMAScript 1st Edition (ECMA-262) Standard Initial definition. Implemented in JavaScript 1.3
ECMAScript 5.1 (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'NaN' in that specification.
Standard  
ECMAScript 2015 (6th Edition, ECMA-262)
The definition of 'NaN' in that specification.
Standard  
ECMAScript Latest Draft (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'NaN' in that specification.
Draft  

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobileServer
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidiOS SafariSamsung InternetNode.js
Basic supportChrome Full support YesEdge Full support YesFirefox Full support 1IE Full support YesOpera Full support YesSafari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yesnodejs Full support Yes

Legend

Full support  
Full support

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: rwaldron,