What does return mean in javascript?

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In JavaScript, the return statement plays a crucial role in functions. It allows a function to send a value back to the code that called it. Understanding how return works is essential for writing effective JavaScript code. In this article, we will dive deeper into the concept of return in JavaScript and explore its various use cases and implications.

The Basics of the Return Statement

In JavaScript, the return statement is used within a function to specify the value that the function should return. When a return statement is encountered, the function immediately stops executing and the value specified in the return statement is sent back to the code that called the function.

Here’s a simple example to illustrate the basic usage of return:

function addNumbers(a, b) {
return a + b;

let result = addNumbers(3, 5);
console.log(result); // Output: 8

In the above example, the addNumbers function takes two parameters, a and b, and returns their sum using the return statement. The returned value, 8, is then assigned to the result variable and printed to the console.

Returning Different Types of Values

The return statement in JavaScript is not limited to returning just numbers. It can be used to return any type of value, including strings, booleans, arrays, objects, and even other functions.

Here’s an example that demonstrates returning different types of values:

function getPerson() {
let person = {
name: “John”,
age: 30,
profession: “Engineer”

return person;

let personObj = getPerson();
console.log(personObj.name); // Output: John

In the above example, the getPerson function returns an object containing information about a person. The returned object is then assigned to the personObj variable, allowing us to access its properties.

Early Return

The return statement can also be used to exit a function early if a certain condition is met. This is often referred to as an “early return” pattern. By using return in conditional statements, we can avoid unnecessary code execution and improve the efficiency of our programs.

Consider the following example:

function checkNumber(num) {
if (num < 0) { return "Negative"; } if (num > 0) {
return “Positive”;

return “Zero”;

console.log(checkNumber(5)); // Output: Positive

In this example, the checkNumber function determines whether a given number is negative, positive, or zero. By using return statements within the conditional statements, the function immediately returns the corresponding value without executing any further code.


The return statement in JavaScript is a powerful tool that allows functions to send values back to the code that called them. It is essential for controlling the flow of execution and returning different types of values. By understanding how return works, you can write more efficient and effective JavaScript code.


– developer.mozilla.org
– www.w3schools.com