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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

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 2017 Draft (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'NaN' in that specification.
Draft  

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

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 Last updated by: fscholz,