Skip to main content
Version: 3.13.0


The isNaN() function determines whether a value is NaN when converted to a number. Because coercion inside the isNaN() function can be surprising, you may alternatively want to use Number.isNaN().




  • value
    • : The value to be tested.

Return value

true if the given value is NaN after being converted to a number; otherwise, false.


isNaN() is a function property of the global object.

For number values, isNaN() tests if the number is the value NaN. When the argument to the isNaN() function is not of type Number, the value is first coerced to a number, and the resulting value is then compared against NaN.

This behavior of isNaN() for non-numeric arguments can be confusing! For example, an empty string is coerced to 0, while a boolean is coerced to 0 or 1; both values are intuitively "not numbers", but they don't evaluate to NaN, so isNaN() returns false. Therefore, isNaN() answers neither the question "is the input the floating point NaN value" nor the question "is the input not a number".

Number.isNaN() is a more reliable way to test whether a value is the number value NaN or not. Alternatively, the expression x !== x can be used, and neither of the solutions is subject to the false positives that make the global isNaN() unreliable. To test if a value is a number, use typeof x === "number".

The isNaN() function answers the question "is the input functionally equivalent to NaN when used in a number context". If isNaN(x) returns false, you can use x in an arithmetic expression as if it's a valid number that's not NaN. If isNaN(x) returns true, x will get coerced to NaN and make most arithmetic expressions return NaN (because NaN propagates). You can use this, for example, to test whether an argument to a function is arithmetically processable (usable "like" a number), and handle values that are not number-like by throwing an error, providing a default value, etc. This way, you can have a function that makes use of the full versatility JavaScript provides by implicitly converting values depending on context.