Parametric Polymorphism

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What Does Parametric Polymorphism Mean?

Parametric polymorphism is a programming language technique that enables the generic definition of functions and types, without a great deal of concern for type-based errors. It allows language to be more expressive while writing generic code that applies to various types of data. Functions written in context with parametric polymorphism work on various data types.

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Techopedia Explains Parametric Polymorphism

Parametric polymorphism is the core principle behind generic programming languages and structures. It enables the creation of generic functions and data types that operate on values, regardless of data type.

For example, if a programming function operates on two different values, the values may be attached, even though they do not have the same data types. An example is joining a list of integers with a floating point value.

Ada, Haskell, Visual Prolog, Scala, Java and C# are programming languages that support parametric polymorphism.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret 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 IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.