devxlogo

Return type of an overriding virtual member function

Return type of an overriding virtual member function

Once declared virtual, a member function can be overridden in any level of derivation, as long as the overriding version has the identical signature of the original declaration. This is quite straightforward, but sometimes a virtual has to return an object of type that differs from the return type declared in its base class. The C++ Standard allows that only when the return type is replaced with a class publicly derived from the original return type. For example:

 class B {	virtual B* clone () const { return new B; }}class D {	void* clone () const { return new B; } //error; return type
//differs
D* clone () const { return new D; } //OK, D is publicly
//derived from B
}
See also  Monetize TikTok For Your Business
devxblackblue

About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

About Our Journalist