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The property lets you detect whether a function or constructor was called using the new operator. In constructors and functions instantiated with the new operator, returns a reference to the constructor or function. In normal function calls, is undefined.



The syntax consists of the keyword "new", a dot, and a property name "target". Normally "new." serves as the context for a property access, but here "new." is not really an object. In constructor calls, however, refers the constructor invoked by new and so "new." becomes a virtual context.

The property is a meta property that is available to all functions. In arrow functions, refers to the of the surrounding function.

Examples in function calls

In normal function calls (as opposed to constructor function calls), is undefined. This lets you detect if a function was called with new as a constructor.

function Foo() {
  if (! throw 'Foo() must be called with new';
  console.log('Foo instantiated with new');

Foo(); // throws "Foo() must be called with new"
new Foo(); // logs "Foo instantiated with new" in constructors

In class constructors, refers to the constructor that was directly invoked by new. This is also the case if the constructor is in a parent class and was delegated from a child constructor.

class A {
  constructor() {

class B extends A { constructor() { super(); } }

var a = new A(); // logs "A"
var b = new B(); // logs "B"

class C { constructor() { console.log(; } }
class D extends C { constructor() { super(); } }
var c = new C(); // logs class C{constructor(){console.log(;}}
var d = new D(); // logs class D extends C{constructor(){super();}}

Thus from above example of class C and D, it seems that points to the class Definition of class which is initialized. For example, when D was initialized using new, class definition of D was printed and similarly in case of c, class C was printed


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

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 46.0 (Yes) 41 (41) No support (Yes) No support
Feature Android Android Webview Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile Chrome for Android
Basic support No support 46.0 (Yes) 41.0 (41) No support No support No support 46.0

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: jameshkramer, rwaldron, akshayjai1, denimX, nmve, kdex, fscholz, jpmedley, dzlabs, imconfig
 Last updated by: jameshkramer,