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I've been editing nodes in code (Drupal 8) like so:

$node = \Drupal\node\Entity\Node::load($nid);
$node->body->value = $body;
$node->title->value = $title;
$node->taxonomy_field->target_id = $value;

If the 'taxonomy_field' entity reference supports multiple terms, how do place them in the $node object? I have tried at least a dozen ways I found on other threads, but none worked. Either errors were thrown, of the code just silently failed.

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The object orientated way would be to use appendItem() from FieldItemList:

$node->field_tags->appendItem([target_id => '1']);

But as the field object provides an array interface you can add items to the field the same way as in a php array:

$node->field_tags[] = '2';
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