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JavaScript Function Apply


Method Reuse

With the apply() method, you can write a method that can be used on different objects.


The JavaScript apply() Method

The apply() method is similar to the call() method (previous chapter).

In this example the fullName method of person is applied on person1:

Example

const person = {
  fullName: function() {
    return this.firstName + " " + this.lastName;
  }
}

const person1 = {
  firstName: "Mary",
  lastName: "Doe"
}

// This will return "Mary Doe":
person.fullName.apply(person1);

Try it Yourself »


The Difference Between call() and apply()

The difference is:

The call() method takes arguments separately.

The apply() method takes arguments as an array.

The apply() method is very handy if you want to use an array instead of an argument list.


The apply() Method with Arguments

The apply() method accepts arguments in an array:

Example

const person = {
  fullName: function(city, country) {
    return this.firstName + " " + this.lastName + "," + city + "," + country;
  }
}

const person1 = {
  firstName:"John",
  lastName: "Doe"
}

person.fullName.apply(person1, ["Oslo", "Norway"]);

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Compared with the call() method:

Example

const person = {
  fullName: function(city, country) {
    return this.firstName + " " + this.lastName + "," + city + "," + country;
  }
}

const person1 = {
  firstName:"John",
  lastName: "Doe"
}

person.fullName.call(person1, "Oslo", "Norway");

Try it Yourself »



Simulate a Max Method on Arrays

You can find the largest number (in a list of numbers) using the Math.max() method:

Example

Math.max(1,2,3);  // Will return 3

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Since JavaScript arrays do not have a max() method, you can apply the Math.max() method instead.

Example

Math.max.apply(null, [1,2,3]); // Will also return 3

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The first argument (null) does not matter. It is not used in this example.

These examples will give the same result:

Example

Math.max.apply(Math, [1,2,3]); // Will also return 3

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Example

Math.max.apply(" ", [1,2,3]); // Will also return 3

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Example

Math.max.apply(0, [1,2,3]); // Will also return 3

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JavaScript Strict Mode

In JavaScript strict mode, if the first argument of the apply() method is not an object, it becomes the owner (object) of the invoked function. In "non-strict" mode, it becomes the global object.