What Data Type Is Now ()?


Scott Campbell

What Data Type Is Now ()?

In JavaScript, the typeof operator is used to determine the type of a variable or expression. However, when you use typeof with the now() function, you might be surprised by the result.

The now() Function

The now() function is a built-in JavaScript function that returns the current timestamp in milliseconds. It is often used to measure performance or calculate time differences.

To use now(), you simply call it without any arguments:

        const currentTime = now();

This will output something like:


The Surprising Result

Now, let’s determine the data type of the now() function using typeof:

        const result = typeof now();

You might expect the result to be “function” since we are checking the data type of a function. However, you would be mistaken!

The Answer: “number”

The actual result will be “number”. This means that JavaScript considers the return value of now(), which is a timestamp in milliseconds, as a number data type.

This behavior can be surprising if you are not aware of it. You might expect that calling “typeof now”, without executing the function, would return “function”. But JavaScript evaluates the function call and returns the type of its return value.


In JavaScript, when using typeof with the now() function, the result is “number” instead of “function”. This is because now() returns a timestamp in milliseconds, which is considered a number data type by JavaScript.

Remember to keep this behavior in mind when working with the now() function or other similar functions that return values of unexpected data types. Understanding how JavaScript evaluates these functions can save you from confusion and debugging headaches.

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We hope this article has clarified any confusion about the data type of the now() function in JavaScript. Remember to always test and verify your assumptions when working with different JavaScript functions and operators!

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