Static Library

What Does Static Library Mean?

A static library is a programming concept in which shared libraries with special functionalities, classes or resources are linked to external applications or components, facilitating the creation of stand-alone and executable files. During linking, a static library’s external parts are loaded into the address space or merged with application code.


A static library provides an effective mechanism for reusing code.

Techopedia Explains Static Library

Static libraries are called and activated by software language and an operating system (OS), versus dynamic libraries, which uses different implementation mechanisms. Only a developer or user may link a static library to an application.

Most library concepts are derivatives of the static library, which evolved from a concept in which the same programming codes or routines are not reimplemented for different applications or components. Rather, a library with required routines is defined.

Key static library benefits are as follows:

  • Ensures library version and compatibility with the developed application code, facilitating version maintenance.
  • Enables the creation of single executable files. Only required library parts of an executable file must be linked, versus a dynamic library, which requires loading of the entire library. However, executable file size is higher when a static library is used.

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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.