What is the (function() { } )() construct in JavaScript?

If you have spent some time working with JavaScript code or have come across JavaScript libraries and frameworks, you may have seen the following construct:

(function() {


At first glance, this syntax may seem strange and confusing. What does it mean? How does it work? In this article, we will explore the (function() { } )() construct in JavaScript and understand its purpose and usage.

Understanding IIFE

The construct (function() { } )() is an example of an Immediately Invoked Function Expression (IIFE). As the name suggests, an IIFE is a function that is immediately invoked or executed after it is defined. It is a way to create a function scope without adding any new variables or functions to the global scope.

The IIFE is written as an anonymous function, wrapped in parentheses, followed by an additional set of parentheses that invoke the function immediately. This construct creates a self-contained function that executes once and is discarded, leaving no trace in the surrounding code.

Benefits of Using IIFE

Using the (function() { } )() construct provides several benefits:

  • Encapsulation: The code inside the IIFE is encapsulated within its own scope. It does not interfere with the global scope or any other scopes in the code. This helps prevent variable and function name collisions and keeps the code modular and maintainable.
  • Privacy and Information Hiding: Variables and functions defined inside the IIFE are not accessible from the outside scope. This allows you to create private variables and functions that can only be accessed and used within the IIFE itself. This concept is useful for creating modules and libraries that expose only limited, controlled access to their internal functionality.
  • Initialization: The IIFE can be used to initialize variables or execute code immediately without waiting for an event or a function call. This is helpful when you need to execute certain code as soon as the page or script loads.
  • Preventing Global Pollution: By using an IIFE, you prevent the pollution of the global namespace with unnecessary variables and functions. This helps reduce the chances of naming conflicts and improves the overall cleanliness and organization of your code.

Examples of IIFE

Let's look at a few examples to better understand the practical usage of IIFE in JavaScript.

Example 1: Protecting Variables from Global Scope

In this example, we define an anonymous function and immediately invoke it. Inside the function, we declare a variable message and assign it a value. However, because the function is immediately invoked and discarded, the message variable does not leak into the global scope:

(function() {
    var message = "Hello, world!";
    console.log(message);  // Output: "Hello, world!"

console.log(message);  // Error: message is not defined

The message variable is only accessible within the scope of the IIFE and is not accessible outside of it. This helps keep the code organized and prevents accidental access or modification of the variable from other parts of the code.

Example 2: Initializing Variables on Page Load

IIFE can be useful for initializing variables immediately when the page or script loads. In this example, we use an IIFE to set up a counter that increments every second:

(function() {
    var counter = 0;
    setInterval(function() {
        console.log(counter);  // Output: 1, 2, 3, ...
    }, 1000);

The IIFE sets up an interval timer that increments the counter variable every second. This allows you to run code immediately without waiting for an event or a function call.


The (function() { } )() construct in JavaScript is an Immediately Invoked Function Expression (IIFE). It is a way to create a self-contained function that executes immediately after it is defined. The purpose of using IIFE is to encapsulate code, create privacy, initialize variables, and prevent global pollution. By understanding and utilizing the IIFE construct, you can write more modular, maintainable, and efficient JavaScript code.