Inheritance

Last Updated: September 23, 2014

Definition - What does Inheritance mean?

Inheritance is a mechanism wherein a new class is derived from an existing class. In Java, classes may inherit or acquire the properties and methods of other classes.

A class derived from another class is called a subclass, whereas the class from which a subclass is derived is called a superclass. A subclass can have only one superclass, whereas a superclass may have one or more subclasses.

Techopedia explains Inheritance

Inheritance is the process wherein characteristics are inherited from ancestors. Similarly, in Java, a subclass inherits the characteristics (properties and methods) of its superclass (ancestor). For example, a vehicle is a superclass and a car is a subclass. The car (subclass) inherits all of the vehicle’s properties. The inheritance mechanism is very useful in code reuse. The following are some limitations of Java class inheritance: A subclass cannot inherit private members of its superclass. Constructor and initializer blocks cannot be inherited by a subclass. A subclass can have only one superclass.

The keyword “extends” is used to derive a subclass from the superclass, as illustrated by the following syntax: class Name_of_subclass extends Name_of superclass { //new fields and methods that would define the subclass go here } If you want to derive a subclass Rectangle from a superclass Shapes, you can do it as follows: class Rectangle extends Shapes { …. }

This definition was written in the context of Java

Survey: Why Is There Still a Gender Gap in Tech?

Do you work in the tech industry? Help us learn more about why the gender gap still exists in tech by taking this quick survey! Survey respondents will also be entered to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card!

Share this: