Anonymous Method

Definition of Anonymous Method

An anonymous method is a technique in computer programming where a function or method is defined without specifying a name. It is typically used for creating short, inline pieces of code, such as lambda expressions or delegates, that can be passed as arguments to other functions or methods. Anonymous methods provide a concise and efficient way to define simple functions, often used for single-use operations or event handlers.


The phonetic transcription of the keyword “Anonymous Method” in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is:/əˈnɒnɪməs ˈmɛθəd/

Key Takeaways

  1. Anonymous methods are unnamed functions that are created and used only once, often in the context of delegates or events, allowing for shorter and more efficient code.
  2. They can access variables within the same scope, making it easy to interact with local variables and pass additional data without explicitly defining more parameters.
  3. Since anonymous methods don’t have a defined name, they lack the ability to call themselves recursively, thus limiting their uses compared to named methods or lambda expressions.

Importance of Anonymous Method

The technology term “Anonymous Method” is important because it plays a vital role in simplifying and streamlining code, particularly in programming languages like C# and Java.

Anonymous methods enable developers to declare and implement methods without having to explicitly assign them a name.

This can greatly reduce the amount of code required when working with event handlers, delegates, or lambda expressions, as it allows concise in-line declarations for short, single-use functions.

By using anonymous methods, developers can create cleaner, more readable code, ultimately reducing errors and making it easier for others to understand.

Furthermore, anonymous methods can help enhance performance, as the compiler can optimize and manage resources more efficiently.


Anonymous methods serve the purpose of providing a convenient and efficient way to create lightweight, single-use functions within code. These methods, as their name suggests, do not have a dedicated name and could be easily defined inline as code executes.

They are particularly useful when working with code that requires a quick and simple function for a limited scope, such as implementing event handlers, creating small, reusable logic blocks, or working with functional programming constructs. By utilizing anonymous methods, developers can reduce the amount of code written, thereby increasing readability and improving the overall structure of the application.

In many programming languages, anonymous methods are implemented using lambda expressions or delegates. For instance, when filtering a list of data or performing an operation on each element, programmers might use an anonymous method to define the required logic without the need to create a named function specifically for the task.

These methods can also access local variables and parameters from their containing scope, making it easy to leverage previously defined values within the anonymous function. This feature of anonymous methods often results in neater and more efficient code, allowing developers to focus on the problem at hand, rather than being encumbered by formal function structures.

Examples of Anonymous Method

Anonymous methods are a programming concept that enables defining methods without providing a name, primarily used for creating simple, short methods that can be passed as arguments or used as event handlers. Here are three real-world examples of their usage:Sorting Custom Collections:In many applications, you might want to sort a custom collection of objects based on different properties or criteria. Anonymous methods can be utilized to create custom comparison delegates that can be passed to the sorting algorithm. For example, in C#, you can sort a list of people by their age using an anonymous method as follows:“`csharpList people = GetListOfPeople();people.Sort(delegate (Person p1, Person p2) { return p

Age – pAge; });“`

Asynchronous Operations:When you want to perform an asynchronous operation, such as making web requests or querying a database, anonymous methods provide a handy way to handle the result. With anonymous methods, you can inline the code to process the result or handle an error right where the operation is called. Here’s an example in C# using the Task Parallel Library (TPL):“`csharpTask.Factory.StartNew(() =>{ // Perform a long-running operation here.}).ContinueWith(delegate (Task t){ if (t.IsFaulted) { // Handle the error. } else { // Process the result. }});“`Event Handlers:When working with graphical user interfaces or any component-based system, you often need to handle various events like clicks or changes. Anonymous methods can be used to simplify event handling code. For example, in C#, you can attach an anonymous method to a button click event:“`csharpButton btn = new Button();btn.Click += delegate (object sender, EventArgs e){ MessageBox.Show(“Button clicked!”);};“` In each of these examples, anonymous methods provide a shorter and more concise way to define and pass around functional code blocks for performing specific operations or event handling.

FAQ – Anonymous Method

1. What is an anonymous method?

An anonymous method is a piece of code that is defined inline without a specific name. It enables you to create a delegate instance without explicitly defining a separate method. Anonymous methods are commonly used with event handlers and callbacks for short, simple pieces of code.

2. How do you create an anonymous method?

To create an anonymous method in C#, for example, you can use the delegate keyword followed by the method signature and a code block. Remember that the return type and parameters of the anonymous method must match the delegate’s definition. Here’s an example:

delegate(int number);
_someDelegate = delegate(int input) { return input * 2; };

3. What are the advantages of using anonymous methods?

Anonymous methods can provide several advantages, including:

  • Simpler code: By defining a delegate inline without a separate method, you can make your code more readable and easier to understand.
  • Local variable access: Anonymous methods can capture and use local variables, allowing you to work with values defined outside the method scope.
  • Reduced boilerplate code: Anonymous methods can help you avoid creating additional named methods for simple single-use cases, keeping your code cleaner and more organized.

4. Can anonymous methods throw exceptions?

Yes, anonymous methods can throw exceptions just like any other method. When using an anonymous method, you should still handle exceptions appropriately, especially if it runs in a different thread or context from the calling code. Consider using try/catch blocks to handle exceptions that may occur within the anonymous method.

5. How do anonymous methods differ from lambda expressions?

Anonymous methods and lambda expressions are similar but have some differences:

  • Syntax: Anonymous methods use the delegate keyword, while lambda expressions use the => operator.
  • Expressiveness: Lambda expressions are generally more concise and easier to read compared to anonymous methods, as they enable you to express your code more succinctly.
  • Compatibility: Lambda expressions are available in C# 3.0 and later versions, while anonymous methods are available in C# 2.0 and later versions.

Related Technology Terms

  • Lambda Expression
  • Delegate
  • Closure
  • Functional Programming
  • Inline Function

Sources for More Information


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