Closures and Lexical Scoping in JavaScript

Amitav Mishra
Oct 8 · 2 min read
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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Variables in JavaScript have two types of scoping i.e. Local and Global scope. If any variable is declared inside a function, then it is a local variable and if the variable is declared outside the function then it is global variable. The scope of variables is defined by their position in the code.

Lexical Scope

JavaScript follows Lexical scoping for functions. Lexical scope means any child’s scope has access to the variables defined in parent’s scope i.e. inner functions can access the global variables.

var a = 5;function sum() {
return a + 6;
console.log(sum()); // 11

In the above example, function sum() is using global variable "a" to perform the addition. That means variable "a" is in scope of sum().


var a = 5;function sum() {
return a + 6;
console.log(sum()); // 11

A Closure is a function which has access to the parent scope variables. The above function has access to global variable “a”, so it is a closure.

If you will do console.dir(sum), then you can see inside [[scopes]] property, the global variable “a” is present. It means function sum() has access to the variable “a”. Check the below snippet.

Now let’s see another example of Closure with respect to inner function.

function sum(outerValue) {
return function(innerValue) {
return outerValue + innerValue;
const findSum = sum(5);console.log(findSum(10)); // 15

When you call sum(5), it returns a function which holds the variable outerValue. So when you call findSum(10), it adds the outerValue value with innerValue value.

The inner function holds the outerValue even after the outer function is closed, this is called closure. If you will do console.dir(findSum), you can see inside [[scopes]] property, the outerValue is present. It means the inner function has access to the variable outerValue.

So next time if someone asks you about Closure in JavaScript, you know what to answer.

Thanks for your time☺️
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