Derived Class

Definition of Derived Class

A derived class, also known as a subclass or child class, is a class in object-oriented programming that inherits attributes and behaviors from another class called the base class or parent class. This inheritance allows the derived class to maintain the properties and methods of the parent class while also having the ability to extend, override, or modify them. The concept of derived classes promotes reusability and modularity in programming.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Derived Class” is:Dih-RYV’d Klas

Key Takeaways

  1. A Derived Class inherits properties and methods from a Base Class, allowing for efficient code reusability and easy customization.
  2. Derived Classes can override or extend the behavior of inherited methods, enabling polymorphism and providing an opportunity to create specialized functionality.
  3. Derived Classes can access protected members of the Base Class, promoting encapsulation while maintaining the ability to modify or extend the Base Class’s behavior.

Importance of Derived Class

The technology term “Derived Class” is important because it plays a vital role in the concept of inheritance in object-oriented programming (OOP). Inheritance allows for the creation of a new class that inherits properties and methods from an existing (base or parent) class, promoting code reusability and modularity.

Derived classes (also known as subclasses) can extend or override the functionality of the base class, enabling developers to implement variations of a common behavior or adapt existing code for more specialized use cases.

By leveraging the derived class concept, programmers can create more efficient, coherent, and maintainable software systems, ultimately reducing development time and complexity.


Derived classes, also known as subclasses, are an essential aspect of the object-oriented programming (OOP) paradigm and embody the principles of inheritance and code reusability. The purpose of a derived class is to extend or specialize the functionality provided by a base class, commonly referred to as the parent class or superclass. Through the concept of inheritance, a derived class automatically acquires the characteristics and behaviors of its base class.

By doing so, the derived class can utilize the existing code without the need for duplication, as well as make modifications or enhancements as required. This enables a hierarchical structure wherein classes can be organized according to their commonalities and differences, thereby fostering modularity and maintainability in the programming environment. Derived classes are often used to represent more specific entities or concepts in a program, building on the general structure and properties provided by their base class.

For example, in a system designed for an e-commerce site, the base class might represent a generic product, while derived classes may be used to represent specific types of products, such as clothing, electronics, or books. These derived classes may introduce new characteristics, such as size or material for clothing, or extend functionality through methods unique to each specific product type. Consequently, derived classes enable programmers to create more complex, versatile, and adaptable applications by capitalizing on the power of inheritance and the OOP principles of abstraction, encapsulation, and polymorphism.

Examples of Derived Class

A derived class, also known as a subclass or child class, is a class that inherits properties and behaviors from another class, called the base class or parent class. Derived classes are commonly used in various programming languages and software systems to promote code reusability, maintainability, and modularity. Here are three real-world examples of the derived class concept:

Object-Oriented Modeling in Game DevelopmentIn game development, object-oriented programming concepts are widely used, resulting in a hierarchical organization of game entities using derived classes. For example, a base class called “GameEntity” could handle basic properties common to all in-game elements, such as position, texture, and movement. This class can be extended to create more specialized derived classes like “Player”, “Enemy”, or “Obstacle” that inherit those properties and have additional specific attributes and behaviors.

GUI FrameworksGraphical User Interface (GUI) frameworks, such as Qt, often use the derived class concept to model various UI components. A base class, like “Widget,” could define common attributes and functionalities like having background color, dimensions, and clickable behavior. Derived classes like “Button,” “Label,” or “Menu” would inherit these common features and add their particular styling and behaviors to create various application elements.

Database Object-Relational Mapping (ORM)In software systems that handle databases, Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) frameworks, such as Django or SQLAlchemy, leverage derived classes to model different tables in the database. In this case, a base class called “Model” could handle generic database operations like create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) methods. Then, derived classes for specific database tables, like “User”, “Product” or “Invoice”, inherit these methods and define specific fields and relationships, making it simpler to access and manage the data.In each of these examples, the derived class concept helps developers create modular and reusable code structures, simplifying the implementation, extension, and maintenance of complex software systems.

Derived Class FAQ

What is a derived class?

A derived class, also known as a subclass or child class, is a class that inherits properties and methods from another class, called the base class or parent class. Derived classes provide a way to reuse and extend the functionality of the base class in a structured manner.

How is a derived class created?

A derived class is created by specifying the base class in the class declaration using a colon followed by the name of the base class. The syntax varies depending on the programming language being used, but the general concept remains the same. For example, in C++ and C#, you would use the following syntax:

class DerivedClass : BaseClass {
  // class definition

What is inheritance in derived classes?

Inheritance is the process by which a derived class acquires the properties and methods of its base class. This enables code reuse and modularity, as common functionalities can be written in the base class and then extended or overridden by the derived classes as needed.

Can a derived class have multiple base classes?

In some programming languages, like C++, a derived class can have multiple base classes, which is known as multiple inheritance. In other languages, like C# and Java, a derived class can only have one base class but can implement multiple interfaces, which provides a form of multiple inheritance.

What is method overriding in derived classes?

Method overriding is a concept in which a derived class provides its own implementation of a method that already exists in its base class. This allows the derived class to inherit the methods and properties of the base class but also customize or extend their behavior as needed.

Related Technology Terms

  • Inheritance
  • Base Class
  • Polymorphism
  • Method Overriding
  • Encapsulation

Sources for More Information

  • Microsoft Docs –
  • TutorialsPoint –
  • GeeksforGeeks –
  • LearnCpp –

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