Defination of Destructor

In C++, a destructor is a special member function of a class that is automatically called when an object of that class goes out of scope or is explicitly deleted. The purpose of a destructor is to perform cleanup and deallocate any resources that the object might have acquired during its lifetime, such as memory, files, network connections, etc

Destructors are particularly important when dealing with resources that are not automatically managed by the programming language’s memory management system, such as dynamically allocated memory, file handles, network connections, and other system resources. By defining a destructor, you can ensure that these resources are properly released and deallocated when they are no longer needed, preventing memory leaks and resource leaks.

Important points of destructor-

Here are some important points to know about destructors in C++:

1) Syntax: The destructor’s name is the same as the class name, preceded by a tilde (~). It has no return type and takes no parameters. For example:

class MyClass {
    ~MyClass() {
        // Destructor code here

2) Automatic Invocation: Destructors are automatically invoked when an object goes out of scope. This happens when the object’s lifetime ends, such as when the function in which the object was created finishes execution.

3) Manual Invocation: You can also explicitly call a destructor using the object’s name followed by the destructor operator (~). However, this is rarely done, as it might lead to undefined behavior if you attempt to use the object after its destructor has been called.

4) Order of Invocation: If an object is a member of another object, its destructor is called before the containing object’s destructor. The order of destruction is the reverse of the order of construction.

5) Resource Management: Destructors are commonly used to release resources such as memory, file handles, sockets, etc. This helps prevent memory leaks and ensures proper cleanup.

6) Inherited Destructors: If a class inherits from a base class, the derived class’s destructor will automatically call the base class’s destructor. It’s important to define virtual destructors in base classes if you intend to delete derived objects through a base class pointer to ensure proper cleanup.

7) Implicitly Defined Destructors: If you don’t explicitly define a destructor, the compiler provides a default one. The default destructor performs simple cleanup for class members, but if the class owns resources that require explicit release (e.g., dynamically allocated memory), it’s recommended to define a custom destructor.

8) No Overloading: Unlike constructors, destructors can’t be overloaded with different parameter lists.

9) Exception Handling: If an exception is thrown during the destruction of objects in a scope, destructors of the objects that have already been destroyed are not called again. Properly managing resources to handle exceptions is important.

10) RAII (Resource Acquisition Is Initialization): Destructors are a key component of the RAII design pattern, where resource management is tied to the lifetime of an object. This pattern is widely used to ensure proper cleanup in C++.

Example of Destructor in C++

Here’s an example of a destructor in C++:

#include <iostream>

class MyClass {
    MyClass() {
        std::cout << "Constructor called" << std::endl;

    ~MyClass() {
        std::cout << "Destructor called" << std::endl;

int main() {
    MyClass obj;  // Creating an object of MyClass

    // Program continues...

    return 0;

In this example, MyClass is a simple class with a constructor and a destructor. The constructor is called when an object of the class is created, and the destructor is called when the object goes out of scope or is explicitly destroyed. In the main function, when the object obj is created, the constructor is called, and when the main function ends, the object goes out of scope, and the destructor is called, as indicated by the output messages.

Remember that destructors are crucial for preventing resource leaks and maintaining proper program behavior. It’s important to design them carefully, especially when dealing with objects that hold resources beyond simple member variables.

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