WeakMap

The WeakMap object is a collection of key/value pairs in which the keys are weakly referenced. The keys must be objects and the values can be arbitrary values.

You can learn more about WeakMaps in the WeakMap object guide (under Keyed collections).

Description

Keys of WeakMaps are of the type Object only. Primitive data types as keys are not allowed (e.g. a Symbol can't be a WeakMap key).

Why WeakMap?

A map API could be implemented in JavaScript with two arrays (one for keys, one for values) shared by the four API methods. Setting elements on this map would involve pushing a key and value onto the end of each of those arrays simultaneously. As a result, the indices of the key and value would correspond to both arrays. Getting values from the map would involve iterating through all keys to find a match, then using the index of this match to retrieve the corresponding value from the array of values.

Such an implementation would have two main inconveniences:

  1. The first one is an O(n) set and search (n being the number of keys in the map) since both operations must iterate through the list of keys to find a matching value.
  2. The second inconvenience is a memory leak because the arrays ensure that references to each key and each value are maintained indefinitely. These references prevent the keys from being garbage collected, even if there are no other references to the object. This would also prevent the corresponding values from being garbage collected.

By contrast, native WeakMaps hold "weak" references to key objects, which means that they do not prevent garbage collection in case there would be no other reference to the key object. This also avoids preventing garbage collection of values in the map. Native WeakMaps can be particularly useful constructs when mapping keys to information about the key that is valuable only if the key has not been garbage collected.

Because the references are weak, WeakMap keys are not enumerable. There is no method to obtain a list of the keys. If they were, the list would depend on the state of garbage collection, introducing non-determinism. If you want to have a list of keys, you should use a Map.

Constructor

WeakMap()
Creates a new WeakMap object.

Instance methods

WeakMap.prototype.delete(key)
Removes any value associated to the key. WeakMap.prototype.has(key) will return false afterwards.
WeakMap.prototype.get(key)
Returns the value associated to the key, or undefined if there is none.
WeakMap.prototype.has(key)
Returns a Boolean asserting whether a value has been associated to the key in the WeakMap object or not.
WeakMap.prototype.set(key, value)
Sets the value for the key in the WeakMap object. Returns the WeakMap object.

Examples

Using WeakMap

const wm1 = new WeakMap(),
      wm2 = new WeakMap(),
      wm3 = new WeakMap();
const o1 = {},
      o2 = function() {},
      o3 = window;

wm1.set(o1, 37);
wm1.set(o2, 'azerty');
wm2.set(o1, o2); // a value can be anything, including an object or a function
wm2.set(o3, undefined);
wm2.set(wm1, wm2); // keys and values can be any objects. Even WeakMaps!

wm1.get(o2); // "azerty"
wm2.get(o2); // undefined, because there is no key for o2 on wm2
wm2.get(o3); // undefined, because that is the set value

wm1.has(o2); // true
wm2.has(o2); // false
wm2.has(o3); // true (even if the value itself is 'undefined')

wm3.set(o1, 37);
wm3.get(o1); // 37

wm1.has(o1); // true
wm1.delete(o1);
wm1.has(o1); // false

Implementing a WeakMap-like class with a .clear() method

class ClearableWeakMap {
  constructor(init) {
    this._wm = new WeakMap(init);
  }
  clear() {
    this._wm = new WeakMap();
  }
  delete(k) {
    return this._wm.delete(k);
  }
  get(k) {
    return this._wm.get(k);
  }
  has(k) {
    return this._wm.has(k);
  }
  set(k, v) {
    this._wm.set(k, v);
    return this;
  }
}

Specifications

Specification
ECMAScript (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'WeakMap' in that specification.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobileServer
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung InternetNode.js
WeakMapChrome Full support 36Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 6IE Full support 11Opera Full support 23Safari Full support 8WebView Android Full support 37Chrome Android Full support 36Firefox Android Full support 6Opera Android Full support 24Safari iOS Full support 8Samsung Internet Android Full support 3.0nodejs Full support 0.12
Full support 0.12
Full support 0.10
Disabled
Disabled From version 0.10: this feature is behind the --harmony runtime flag.
WeakMap() constructorChrome Full support 36Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 6IE Full support 11Opera Full support 23Safari Full support 8WebView Android Full support 37Chrome Android Full support 36Firefox Android Full support 6Opera Android Full support 24Safari iOS Full support 8Samsung Internet Android Full support 3.0nodejs Full support 0.12
Full support 0.12
Full support 0.10
Disabled
Disabled From version 0.10: this feature is behind the --harmony runtime flag.
clear
DeprecatedNon-standard
Chrome No support 36 — 43Edge No support NoFirefox No support 20 — 46IE Full support 11Opera No support 25 — 30Safari No support 8 — 9WebView Android No support 37 — 43Chrome Android No support 36 — 43Firefox Android No support 20 — 46Opera Android No support 25 — 30Safari iOS No support 8 — 9Samsung Internet Android No support 3.0 — 4.0nodejs No support 0.12 — 4.0.0
deleteChrome Full support 36Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 6
Notes
Full support 6
Notes
Notes Prior to Firefox 38, this method threw a TypeError when the key parameter was not an object. This has been fixed in version 38 and later to return false as per the ES2015 standard.
IE Full support 11Opera Full support 23Safari Full support 8WebView Android Full support 37Chrome Android Full support 36Firefox Android Full support 6
Notes
Full support 6
Notes
Notes Prior to Firefox 38, this method threw a TypeError when the key parameter was not an object. This has been fixed in version 38 and later to return false as per the ES2015 standard.
Opera Android Full support 24Safari iOS Full support 8Samsung Internet Android Full support 3.0nodejs Full support 0.12
Full support 0.12
Full support 0.10
Disabled
Disabled From version 0.10: this feature is behind the --harmony runtime flag.
getChrome Full support 36Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 6
Notes
Full support 6
Notes
Notes Prior to Firefox 38, this method threw a TypeError when the key parameter was not an object. However, the ES2015 specification specifies to return undefined instead. Furthermore, WeakMap.prototype.get accepted an optional second argument as a fallback value, which is not part of the standard. Both non-standard behaviors are removed in version 38 and higher.
IE Full support 11Opera Full support 23Safari Full support 8WebView Android Full support 37Chrome Android Full support 36Firefox Android Full support 6
Notes
Full support 6
Notes
Notes Prior to Firefox 38, this method threw a TypeError when the key parameter was not an object. However, the ES2015 specification specifies to return undefined instead. Furthermore, WeakMap.prototype.get accepted an optional second argument as a fallback value, which is not part of the standard. Both non-standard behaviors are removed in version 38 and higher.
Opera Android Full support 24Safari iOS Full support 8Samsung Internet Android Full support 3.0nodejs Full support 0.12
Full support 0.12
Full support 0.10
Disabled
Disabled From version 0.10: this feature is behind the --harmony runtime flag.
hasChrome Full support 36Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 6
Notes
Full support 6
Notes
Notes Prior to Firefox 38, this method threw a TypeError when the key parameter was not an object. This has been fixed in version 38 and later to return false as per the ES2015 standard.
IE Full support 11Opera Full support 23Safari Full support 8WebView Android Full support 37Chrome Android Full support 36Firefox Android Full support 6
Notes
Full support 6
Notes
Notes Prior to Firefox 38, this method threw a TypeError when the key parameter was not an object. This has been fixed in version 38 and later to return false as per the ES2015 standard.
Opera Android Full support 24Safari iOS Full support 8Samsung Internet Android Full support 3.0nodejs Full support 0.12
Full support 0.12
Full support 0.10
Disabled
Disabled From version 0.10: this feature is behind the --harmony runtime flag.
setChrome Full support 36Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 6
Notes
Full support 6
Notes
Notes Prior to Firefox 38, this method threw a TypeError when the key parameter was not an object. This has been fixed in version 38 and later to return false as per the ES2015 standard.
IE Partial support 11
Notes
Partial support 11
Notes
Notes Returns 'undefined' instead of the 'Map' object.
Opera Full support 23Safari Full support 8WebView Android Full support 37Chrome Android Full support 36Firefox Android Full support 6
Notes
Full support 6
Notes
Notes Prior to Firefox 38, this method threw a TypeError when the key parameter was not an object. This has been fixed in version 38 and later to return false as per the ES2015 standard.
Opera Android Full support 24Safari iOS Full support 8Samsung Internet Android Full support 3.0nodejs Full support 0.12
Full support 0.12
Full support 0.10
Disabled
Disabled From version 0.10: this feature is behind the --harmony runtime flag.

Legend

Full support  
Full support
Partial support  
Partial support
No support  
No support
Non-standard. Expect poor cross-browser support.
Non-standard. Expect poor cross-browser support.
Deprecated. Not for use in new websites.
Deprecated. Not for use in new websites.
See implementation notes.
See implementation notes.
User must explicitly enable this feature.
User must explicitly enable this feature.

See also