How to Fix ReferenceError: $ is Not Defined in JavaScript

January 29, 2024
How to Fix ReferenceError: $ is Not Defined in JavaScript
Table of Contents
  • Understanding the $ Symbol
  • What Does It Mean When a Value Is Not Defined?
  • What If the Function $ Is Not Defined?
  • How Do I Fix Reference Error $ Is Not Defined?

Have you ever encountered the puzzling error message ReferenceError: $ is not defined in your JavaScript journey? This cryptic little message can be a stumbling block for both beginners and seasoned developers alike. But fear not! In this tutorial, we're going to unravel the mystery behind the $ symbol and provide you with practical solutions to overcome this common issue.

Before we dive into the fixes, let's take a quick look at an example where this error might occur:

1$(document).ready(function() {
2 // Your code goes here

At first glance, this code snippet might look perfectly fine, especially if you're familiar with jQuery—a popular JavaScript library. However, if you run this in your environment without the proper setup, you'll be greeted with the ReferenceError: $ is not defined. Let's explore why this happens and how to fix it.

Understanding the $ Symbol

The $ symbol in JavaScript is typically associated with jQuery, a library that simplifies HTML document traversing, event handling, animating, and Ajax interactions. When you see $, think of it as a shortcut or an alias for jQuery. So, when the error states that $ is not defined, it's essentially saying that it doesn't recognize $ as anything meaningful in your code.

What Does It Mean When a Value Is Not Defined?

When JavaScript tells you that a value is not defined, it's indicating that the variable or function you're trying to use hasn't been declared in the current scope. This could be due to a typo, a missing import, or the script not being loaded correctly.

What If the Function $ Is Not Defined?

If the function $ is not defined, it means that the JavaScript engine doesn't have a reference to the jQuery library, which defines $. This is often because the library hasn't been included in your project or the script tag to load jQuery is incorrect or placed in the wrong order in your HTML file.

How Do I Fix Reference Error $ Is Not Defined?

To resolve the ReferenceError: $ is not defined, follow these steps:

  1. Include jQuery in Your Project: Make sure you have jQuery included. You can add it by using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) like this:
1<script src=""></script>

Place this script tag in the <head> section of your HTML document or right before the closing </body> tag. If you're interested in learning more about HTML, consider taking a HTML fundamentals course.

  1. Ensure Correct Ordering: Verify the order of your script tags. The jQuery library must be loaded before any scripts that utilize $.

  2. Check for Typos: A simple typo can cause this error. Confirm that you're using $ and not another similar character.

  3. No Conflict Mode: If you're using multiple JavaScript libraries, there might be a conflict with the $ symbol. jQuery offers a noConflict() method that relinquishes control of $ back to other libraries that might be using it. After calling noConflict(), use jQuery instead of $ in your code.

  4. Check for Browser Caching Issues: Sometimes, your browser might cache an older version of your code. Clear your browser cache or disable caching during development to ensure you're running the latest code.

By following these steps, you should be able to resolve the ReferenceError: $ is not defined and continue developing your web application smoothly. If you're new to JavaScript or need to brush up on your skills, check out this JavaScript course. And for those who are looking to dive deeper into web development, here's an introduction to web development course that covers all the essentials.

Remember, encountering errors is a natural part of the learning process. With each challenge you overcome, you become a better developer. Keep experimenting, keep learning, and don't let a small hiccup like the $ is not defined error slow you down.

For further reading on JavaScript and its intricacies, you can visit reputable sources such as Mozilla Developer Network (MDN), W3Schools, or Stack Overflow for community-driven troubleshooting and advice.

In summary, the ReferenceError: $ is not defined is a common JavaScript error that arises when the jQuery library is not properly loaded or referenced in your project. By ensuring jQuery is included and loaded correctly, checking for typos, and managing library conflicts, you can quickly fix this error and get back to creating amazing web experiences. Happy coding!

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