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

Property attributes of NaN
Writable no
Enumerable no
Configurable no




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'.


Browser compatibilityUpdate compatibility data on GitHub

Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support Yes Yes 1 Yes Yes Yes
Android webview Chrome for Android Edge Mobile Firefox for Android Opera for Android iOS Safari Samsung Internet
Basic support Yes Yes Yes 4 Yes Yes Yes
Basic support Yes

See also

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