Anonymous Function

In a programming language, an unnamed function object (also: "function literal").

Example (in PseudoCode):

"lambda(x,y){ x>y }" is an anonymous function object representing the function that tells whether its first argument is greater than its second argument.

This lets you write (e.g.)

  sort(lambda(x,y){ x>y }, [5,7,3,4,9,5,4])
instead of

  def compfunc(x,y) {
    x>y
  }

sort(compfunc,[5,7,3,4,9,5,4])
Analogously, "42" is an anonymous number object (or "number literal") representing the number 42, which lets you write (e.g.)

  set_age(42)
instead of

  def value := 42
  set_age(value)
(for the last code snippet, imagine that this was written in a programming language that does not let you use numbers directly, but always requires you to give them a name first using "def <name> := <value>")

The syntax of anonymous functions depends on the programming language being used: Shouldn't this be simply called an unnamed function? -- MarkJanssen

Sometimes it is. In every technical field, science or craft, some things get multiple names.


See also LambdaExpression

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