Nullish coalescing assignment (??=)

The nullish coalescing assignment (??=) operator, also known as the logical nullish assignment operator, only evaluates the right operand and assigns to the left if the left operand is nullish (null or undefined).

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x ??= y


Nullish coalescing assignment short-circuits, meaning that x ??= y is equivalent to x ?? (x = y), except that the expression x is only evaluated once.

No assignment is performed if the left-hand side is not nullish, due to short-circuiting of the nullish coalescing operator. For example, the following does not throw an error, despite x being const:

const x = 1;
x ??= 2;

Neither would the following trigger the setter:

const x = {
  get value() {
    return 1;
  set value(v) {
    console.log("Setter called");

x.value ??= 2;

In fact, if x is not nullish, y is not evaluated at all.

const x = 1;
x ??= console.log("y evaluated");
// Logs nothing


Using nullish coalescing assignment

You can use the nullish coalescing assignment operator to apply default values to object properties. Compared to using destructuring and default values, ??= also applies the default value if the property has value null.

function config(options) {
  options.duration ??= 100;
  options.speed ??= 25;
  return options;

config({ duration: 125 }); // { duration: 125, speed: 25 }
config({}); // { duration: 100, speed: 25 }


ECMAScript Language Specification
# sec-assignment-operators

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See also