The JavaScript NaN Property

NaN is a global property representing a Not-a-Number value. It is a special value that indicates that the value is not a number. NaN is usually the result of an operation that doesn't make sense or is arithmetically undefined, such as the the square root of a negative number:

Math.sqrt(-4); // NaN

Several JavaScript methods return NaN if the value specified in the parameter cannot be converted to or parsed as a number. The following examples all return NaN:


NaN is not equal to any other value, including itself. Consequently, you cannot determine whether a given value is not a number by comparing it to NaN. Instead, the isNaN() function can be used to check if the value is not a number:

var test_val = NaN;
test_val == NaN; // false
isNaN(test_val); // true

NaN should not be confused with null or undefined. NaN indicates that the value of an expression is undefined, or is out of its domain of definition.

See also

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