7 Declarations [dcl.dcl]

7.2 Enumeration declarations [dcl.enum]

The enumeration type declared with an enum-key of only enum is an unscoped enumeration, and its enumerators are unscoped enumerators. The enum-keys enum class and enum struct are semantically equivalent; an enumeration type declared with one of these is a scoped enumeration, and its enumerators are scoped enumerators. The optional identifier shall not be omitted in the declaration of a scoped enumeration. The type-specifier-seq of an enum-base shall name an integral type; any cv-qualification is ignored. An opaque-enum-declaration declaring an unscoped enumeration shall not omit the enum-base. The identifiers in an enumerator-list are declared as constants, and can appear wherever constants are required. An enumerator-definition with = gives the associated enumerator the value indicated by the constant-expression. If the first enumerator has no initializer, the value of the corresponding constant is zero. An enumerator-definition without an initializer gives the enumerator the value obtained by increasing the value of the previous enumerator by one.


enum { a, b, c=0 };
enum { d, e, f=e+2 };

defines a, c, and d to be zero, b and e to be 1, and f to be 3.  — end example ]

An opaque-enum-declaration is either a redeclaration of an enumeration in the current scope or a declaration of a new enumeration. [ Note: An enumeration declared by an opaque-enum-declaration has fixed underlying type and is a complete type. The list of enumerators can be provided in a later redeclaration with an enum-specifier.  — end note ] A scoped enumeration shall not be later redeclared as unscoped or with a different underlying type. An unscoped enumeration shall not be later redeclared as scoped and each redeclaration shall include an enum-base specifying the same underlying type as in the original declaration.

If the enum-key is followed by a nested-name-specifier, the enum-specifier shall refer to an enumeration that was previously declared directly in the class or namespace to which the nested-name-specifier refers (i.e., neither inherited nor introduced by a using-declaration), and the enum-specifier shall appear in a namespace enclosing the previous declaration.

Each enumeration defines a type that is different from all other types. Each enumeration also has an underlying type. The underlying type can be explicitly specified using enum-base; if not explicitly specified, the underlying type of a scoped enumeration type is int. In these cases, the underlying type is said to be fixed. Following the closing brace of an enum-specifier, each enumerator has the type of its enumeration. If the underlying type is fixed, the type of each enumerator prior to the closing brace is the underlying type and the constant-expression in the enumerator-definition shall be a converted constant expression of the underlying type ([expr.const]); if the initializing value of an enumerator cannot be represented by the underlying type, the program is ill-formed. If the underlying type is not fixed, the type of each enumerator is the type of its initializing value:

  • If an initializer is specified for an enumerator, the initializing value has the same type as the expression and the constant-expression shall be an integral constant expression ([expr.const]).

  • If no initializer is specified for the first enumerator, the initializing value has an unspecified integral type.

  • Otherwise the type of the initializing value is the same as the type of the initializing value of the preceding enumerator unless the incremented value is not representable in that type, in which case the type is an unspecified integral type sufficient to contain the incremented value. If no such type exists, the program is ill-formed.

For an enumeration whose underlying type is not fixed, the underlying type is an integral type that can represent all the enumerator values defined in the enumeration. If no integral type can represent all the enumerator values, the enumeration is ill-formed. It is implementation-defined which integral type is used as the underlying type except that the underlying type shall not be larger than int unless the value of an enumerator cannot fit in an int or unsigned int. If the enumerator-list is empty, the underlying type is as if the enumeration had a single enumerator with value 0.

For an enumeration whose underlying type is fixed, the values of the enumeration are the values of the underlying type. Otherwise, for an enumeration where emin is the smallest enumerator and emax is the largest, the values of the enumeration are the values in the range bmin to bmax, defined as follows: Let K be 1 for a two's complement representation and 0 for a one's complement or sign-magnitude representation. bmax is the smallest value greater than or equal to max(|emin| - K, |emax|) and equal to 2M-1, where M is a non-negative integer. bmin is zero if emin is non-negative and -(bmax+K) otherwise. The size of the smallest bit-field large enough to hold all the values of the enumeration type is max(M,1) if bmin is zero and M+1 otherwise. It is possible to define an enumeration that has values not defined by any of its enumerators. If the enumerator-list is empty, the values of the enumeration are as if the enumeration had a single enumerator with value 0.93

Two enumeration types are layout-compatible if they have the same underlying type.

The value of an enumerator or an object of an unscoped enumeration type is converted to an integer by integral promotion ([conv.prom]). [ Example:

  enum color { red, yellow, green=20, blue };
  color col = red;
  color* cp = &col;
  if (*cp == blue)              // ...

makes color a type describing various colors, and then declares col as an object of that type, and cp as a pointer to an object of that type. The possible values of an object of type color are red, yellow, green, blue; these values can be converted to the integral values 0, 1, 20, and 21. Since enumerations are distinct types, objects of type color can be assigned only values of type color.

color c = 1;                    // error: type mismatch,
                                // no conversion from int to color

int i = yellow;                 // OK: yellow converted to integral value 1
                                // integral promotion

Note that this implicit enum to int conversion is not provided for a scoped enumeration:

enum class Col { red, yellow, green };
int x = Col::red;               // error: no Col to int conversion
Col y = Col::red;
if (y) { }                      // error: no Col to bool conversion

 — end example ]

Each enum-name and each unscoped enumerator is declared in the scope that immediately contains the enum-specifier. Each scoped enumerator is declared in the scope of the enumeration. These names obey the scope rules defined for all names in ([basic.scope]) and ([basic.lookup]).[ Example:

enum direction { left='l', right='r' }; 

void g()  { 
  direction d;                  // OK 
  d = left;                     // OK 
  d = direction::right;         // OK 

enum class altitude { high='h', low='l' }; 

void h()  { 
  altitude a;                   // OK 
  a = high;                     // error: high not in scope 
  a = altitude::low;            // OK 

 — end example ] An enumerator declared in class scope can be referred to using the class member access operators (::, . (dot) and -> (arrow)), see [expr.ref]. [ Example:

struct X {
  enum direction { left='l', right='r' };
  int f(int i) { return i==left ? 0 : i==right ? 1 : 2; }

void g(X* p) {
  direction d;                  // error: direction not in scope
  int i;
  i = p->f(left);               // error: left not in scope
  i = p->f(X::right);           // OK
  i = p->f(p->left);            // OK
  // ...

 — end example ]

This set of values is used to define promotion and conversion semantics for the enumeration type. It does not preclude an expression of enumeration type from having a value that falls outside this range.