The syntax for declaring a destructor is :


So the name of the class and destructor is same but it is prefixed with a ~ (tilde). It does not take any parameter nor does it return any value. Overloading a destructor is not possible and can be explicitly invoked. In other words, a class can have only one destructor. A destructor can be defined outside the class.

The following program illustrates this concept :

//Illustration of the working of Destructor function
#include <iostream.h>
 #include <conio.h>
class add
 private :
 int num1,num2,num3;
 public :
 add(int=0, int=0); //default argument constructor
 //to reduce the number of constructors
 void sum();
 void display();
 ~ add(void); //Destructor
//Destructor definition ~add()
Add:: ~add(void) //destructor called automatically at end of program 
Cout<<”\nAfter the final execution, me, the object has entered in
<<”\ndestructor to destroy myself\n”;
//Constructor definition add()
Add::add(int n1,int n2)
//function definition sum ()
Void add::sum()
//function definition display ()
Void add::display ()
Cout<<”\nThe sum of two numbers is “--num3--end1;
void main()
Add obj1,obj2(5),obj3(10,20): //objects created and initialized
Obj1.sum(); //function call
cout<<”\nUsing obj1 \n”;
obj1.display(); //function call
cout<<”\nUsing obj2 \n”;
cout<<”\nUsing obj3 \n”;

Special Characteristics of Destructors
Some of the characteristics associated with destructors are :

(i) These are called automatically when the objects are destroyed.

(ii) Destructor functions follow the usual access rules as other member functions.

(iii) These de-initialize each object before the object goes out of scope.

(iv) No argument and return type (even void) permitted with destructors.

(v) These cannot be inherited.

(vi) Static destructors are not allowed.

(vii) Address of a destructor cannot be taken.

(viii) A destructor can call member functions of its class.

(ix) An object of a class having a destructor cannot be a member of a union.

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