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Javascript: Calling a function with a variable number of arguments

This card describes how to pass an array with multiple element to a JavaScript function, so that the first array element becomes the first function argument, the second element becomes the second argument, etc.

Note how this is different from passing the entire array as the first argument. Compare these two different ways of calling fun() in Ruby:

# Ruby array = [1, 2, 3] fun(array) # same as fun([1, 2, 3]) (1 argument) fun(*array) # same as fun(1, 2, 3) (3 arguments)

Depending on your culture the spreading of array elements into multiple argument slots is called "splat args" or "varargs" or "spread args" or "rest operator".

Plain JavaScript

var array = [1, 2, 3]; console.log.apply(console, array);



EcmaScript 6 (ES6)


This is supported by current browsers and Microsoft Edge, but not IE 11. If you need to support IE11 you need a transpiler.

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Owner of this card:

Henning Koch
Last edit:
6 months ago
by Dominik Schöler
varargs, splat, rest, arguments
About this deck:
We are makandra and do test-driven, agile Ruby on Rails software development.
License for source code
Posted by Henning Koch to makandra dev
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