7 new JavaScript Set methods: union(), intersection() + 5 more

Last updated on February 05, 2024
7 new JavaScript Set methods: union(), intersection() + 5 more

Let's be honest: you probably don't care about Sets! At least until now...

They've been here since ES6 but they're usually relegated to making sure a list has no duplicates.

const array = [1, 4, 3, 2, 3, 1];

const noDuplicates = [...new Set(array)];

console.log(noDuplicates); // [1, 4, 3, 2]

With these 7 upcoming built-in Set methods, we could find ourselves using them a LOT more often.

1. union()

The new Set union() method gives us all the unique items in both sets.

const creation = new Set(['coding', 'writing', 'painting']);

const joy = new Set(['crying', 'laughing', 'coding']);

// Set { 'coding', 'crying', 'writing', 'laughing', 'painting' }

And since it's immutable and returns a copy, you can chain it indefinitely:

const odd = new Set([21, 23, 25]);

const even = new Set([20, 22, 24]);

const prime = new Set([23, 29]);

// Set(7) { 21, 23, 25, 20, 22, 24, 29 }

2. intersection()

What elements are in both sets?

const mobile = new Set(['javascript', 'java', 'swift', 'dart']);

const backend = new Set(['php', 'python', 'javascript', 'java']);

const frontend = new Set(['javascript', 'dart']);

// Set { javascript, java }

// Set { javascript }

3. difference()

difference() does A - B to return all the elements in A that are not in B:

const joy = new Set(['crying', 'laughing', 'coding']);

const pain = new Set(['crying', 'screaming', 'coding']);

// Set { 'laughing' }

4. symmetricDifference()

As symmetric implies, this method gets the set difference both ways. That's (A - B) U (B - A).

All the items in 1 and only 1 of the sets:

const joy = new Set(['crying', 'laughing', 'coding']);

const pain = new Set(['crying', 'screaming', 'coding']);

// Set { 'laughing', 'screaming' }

5. isSubsetOf()

Purpose is clear: check if all elements of a set are in another set.

const colors = new Set(['indigo', 'teal', 'cyan', 'violet']);

const purpleish = new Set(['indigo', 'violet']);

const secondary = new Set(['orange', 'green', 'violet']);

console.log(purpleish.isSubsetOf(colors)); // true

console.log(secondary.isSubsetOf(colors)); // false

console.log(colors.isSubsetOf(colors)); // true

6. isSupersetOf()

Check if one set contains all the elements in another set: As good as swapping the two sets in isSubsetOf():

const colors = new Set(['salmon', 'cyan', 'yellow', 'aqua']);

const blueish = new Set(['cyan', 'aqua']);

const primary = new Set(['red', 'yellow', 'blue']);

console.log(colors.isSupersetOf(blueish)); // true

console.log(colors.isSupersetOf(primary)); // false

console.log(colors.isSupersetOf(colors)); // true

7. isDisjointFrom()

isDisjointFrom: Do these sets share zero common elements?

const ai = new Set(['python', 'c++']);

const mobile = new Set(['java', 'js', 'dart', 'kotlin']);

const frontend = new Set(['js', 'dart']);

console.log(ai.isDisjointFrom(mobile)); // true

console.log(mobile.isDisjointFrom(frontend)); // false

Use them now

With core-js polyfills:

Otherwise you get blasted with errors from TypeScript & Node.js -- they're not yet in the official JavaScript standard.

Wrap up

So these are our 7 new Set methods -- no more need for 3rd parties like _.intersection() (Lodash!)

const unique = new Set(['salmon', 'cyan', 'cherry', 'aqua']);

const blueish = new Set(['cyan', 'aqua', 'blue']);

const primary = new Set(['red', 'green', 'blue']);

console.log(unique.union(blueish)); // Set { 'salmon', 'cyan', 'cherry', 'aqua', 'blue' }

console.log(unique.intersection(blueish)); // Set { 'cyan', 'aqua' }

console.log(unique.difference(blueish)); // Set { 'salmon', 'cherry' }

console.log(unique.symmetricDifference(blueish)); // Set { 'salmon', 'cherry', 'blue' }

console.log(primary.isSubsetOf(unique)); // false
console.log(new Set(['red', 'green']).isSubsetOf(primary)); // true

console.log(unique.isSupersetOf(new Set(['salmon', 'aqua']))); // true
console.log(unique.isSupersetOf(blueish)); // false

console.log(unique.isDisjointFrom(primary)); // true
console.log(unique.isDisjointFrom(blueish)); // false
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