JavaScript spread syntax explained in 30 seconds

August 02, 2018

Think of an array like a deck of cards. You can spread the cards out, then you have a bunch of individual cards. JavaScript’s spread (...) syntax works the same way. The spread syntax literally spreads an array into its individual values:

const a = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
const b = [...a, 6]
console.log(b) // [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]

Want another example? Let’s say you have a function that accepts three arguments, and you have an array of the arguments you want to use:

const words = ['He', 'plays', 'Zelda']

function logThreeWords(a, b, c) {
  console.log(a, b, c)

You could call logThreeWords like this:

logThreeWords(words[0], words[1], words[2]) // He plays Zelda

Or you could just use the spread operator:

logThreeWords(...words) // He plays Zelda

Bonus: using spread while destructuring

The fun doesn’t stop at arrays. You can also use it for destructuring:

const { name, } = {
  name: 'Link',
  hair: 'Blonde',
  weapon: 'Master Sword'

console.log(name) // Link
console.log(rest) // { hair: 'blonde', weapon: 'Master Sword' }
console.log(rest.weapon) // Master Sword

As you can see, the spread syntax is simply saving you from having to type out data explicitly. It takes the rest of an object and packs it into a variable for you.

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