Member variable

In object-oriented programming, a member variable (sometimes called a member field) is a variable that is associated with a specific object, and accessible for all its methods (member functions). In class-based languages, these are distinguished into two types: if there is only one copy of the variable shared with all instances of the class, it is called a class variable or static member variable; while if each instance of the class has its own copy of the variable, the variable is called an instance variable.[1]



class Program
    static void main(String args[])
    	// This is a local variable. Its lifespan
    	// is determined by lexical scope.
    	Foo foo;

class Foo
    // This is a member variable - a new instance
    // of this variable will be created for each 
    // new instance of Foo.  The lifespan of this
    // variable is equal to the lifespan of "this"
    // instance of Foo
    int bar;


#include <iostream>
class Foo {
    int bar; //Member variable
    void setBar (int newBar) {bar = newBar;}

int main () {
  Foo rect; //Local variable
  return 0;


  1. Richard G. Baldwin (1999-03-10). "Q - What is a member variable?". Richard G Baldwin Programming Tutorials. Retrieved 2011-08-12. A member variable is a member of a class (class variable) or a member of an object instantiated from that class (instance variable). It must be declared within a class, but not within the body of a method of the class.

See also

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