Hoisting in JavaScript

Can you call any function before declaration? or can you use any variable before declaration?

If you coming from another programming language background like C, C++, or Java you will probably say No, but in the case of JavaScript, you can definitely access those variables and functions because of Hoisting.

When you use variables and functions before declaration without getting any error known to be as Hoisting. See below:

    greet() // Hello World!

    function greet() {
        console.log('Hello, World!')

Similarly for variables

    console.log(name) // undefined

    var name = 'John Doe'


    name = 'John Doe';
    console.log(name); //John Doe
    var name;

Yes! In the case of functions, it executing what should be executed, but for variables, it printing a special value undefined.

Maybe you're thinking it will show any variable which is written or not written in the current script but when you see below, We're trying to use a variable that is nowhere defined in our script, it's actually throwing an error:

    console.log(noWhereDefinedVar) // ReferenceError: noWhereDefinedVar is not defined

Actually, it's happening because of JavaScript's execution behavior, whenever we start the execution of the current script or current function is executed in two phases first is the Memory Creation Phase, and another one is the Code Execution Phase.

So, in the Memory Creation Phase means before execution of code, memory allocated for all the variables and for the functions. The variables get special value i.e. undefined and functions literally copied in its allocated memory space and whenever Memory Creation Phase completed then only execution starts.

What happens in the case of let and const?

The let and const also hoisted, but it behaves differently, we cannot use variable declared with let and const before initialization, cause let or const have a block level scope it is created in special memory space, example with let:

    num = 1; // initialization.

    let num;
    // Throws ReferenceError: Cannot access 'a' before initialization

Example with const:

    NUM = 1; // initialization.

    const NUM;
    // Throws SyntaxError: Missing initializer in const declaration

Best Practices:

  • Use let/const over var. try to use these in priority is like const > let > var.
  • Declare variable always on the top of the script/function, Try to avoid the use of variables before initialization.

Practice with the below code and answer me what will be the answer:


    var sayHello = function greet() { 
        console.log('Hello, World!')


  • https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Glossary/Hoisting
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JavaScript_syntax
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