What Does Array Mean?

An array, in the context of Java, is a dynamically-created object that serves as a container to hold constant number of values of the same type. By declaring an array, memory space is allocated for values of a particular type. At the time of creation, the length of the array must be specified and remains constant.


To access an array element, the numerical index (a non-negative value) corresponding to the location of that element must be used. The first index value in the array is zero, thus, the index with value four is used to access the fifth element in the array. An array element that is also an array is known as a subarray. Arrays could have one or two dimensions.

Techopedia Explains Array

Arrays have the following advantages:

  • A particular element in a large group of elements may be accessed easily with the array name and the element index.
  • Arrays are useful when executing calculations within a loop.

The declaration and allocation of memory for a one-dimensional array in Java is as follows:
data_type[] array_name = new data_type[length of the array], where data_type is the type of values to be added to the array and array_name is the name assigned to the array.

For example, if we want to create an array named box that includes three elements of type integer, then the following is the Java syntax to define such array: int[] box = new int[3]. To access the first element in this array, the Java syntax used is box[0].


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…