Logical NOT (!)

The logical NOT (!) operator (logical complement, negation) takes truth to falsity and vice versa. It is typically used with Boolean (logical) values. When used with non-Boolean values, it returns false if its single operand can be converted to true; otherwise, returns true.

Syntax

!expr

Description

Returns false if its single operand can be converted to true; otherwise, returns true.

If a value can be converted to true, the value is so-called truthy. If a value can be converted to false, the value is so-called falsy.

Examples of expressions that can be converted to false are:

  • null;
  • NaN;
  • 0;
  • empty string ("" or '' or ``);
  • undefined.

Even though the ! operator can be used with operands that are not Boolean values, it can still be considered a boolean operator since its return value can always be converted to a boolean primitive. To explicitly convert its return value (or any expression in general) to the corresponding boolean value, use a double NOT operator or the Boolean constructor.

Examples

Using NOT

The following code shows examples of the ! (logical NOT) operator.

n1 = !true               // !t returns false
n2 = !false              // !f returns true
n3 = !''                 // !f returns true
n4 = !'Cat'              // !t returns false

Double NOT (!!)

It is possible to use a couple of NOT operators in series to explicitly force the conversion of any value to the corresponding boolean primitive. The conversion is based on the "truthyness" or "falsyness" of the value (see truthy and falsy).

The same conversion can be done through the Boolean function.

n1 = !!true                   // !!truthy returns true
n2 = !!{}                     // !!truthy returns true: any object is truthy...
n3 = !!(new Boolean(false))   // ...even Boolean objects with a false .valueOf()!
n4 = !!false                  // !!falsy returns false
n5 = !!""                     // !!falsy returns false
n6 = !!Boolean(false)         // !!falsy returns false

Converting between NOTs

The following operation involving booleans:

!!bCondition

is always equal to:

bCondition

Specifications

Specification
ECMAScript Language Specification (ECMAScript)
# sec-logical-not-operator

Browser compatibility

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See also