C# - Anonymous Method

As the name suggests, an anonymous method is a method without a name. Anonymous methods in C# can be defined using the delegate keyword and can be assigned to a variable of delegate type.

Example: Anonymous Method
public delegate void Print(int value);

static void Main(string[] args)
{
    Print print = delegate(int val) { 
        Console.WriteLine("Inside Anonymous method. Value: {0}", val); 
    };

    print(100);
}
Output:
Inside Anonymous method. Value: 100

Anonymous methods can access variables defined in an outer function.

Example: Anonymous Method
public delegate void Print(int value);

static void Main(string[] args)
{
    int i = 10;
    
    Print prnt = delegate(int val) {
        val += i;
        Console.WriteLine("Anonymous method: {0}", val); 
    };

    prnt(100);
}
Output:
Anonymous method: 110

Anonymous methods can also be passed to a method that accepts the delegate as a parameter.

In the following example, PrintHelperMethod() takes the first parameters of the Print delegate:

Example: Anonymous Method as Parameter
public delegate void Print(int value);

class Program
{
    public static void PrintHelperMethod(Print printDel,int val)
    { 
        val += 10;
        printDel(val);
    }

    static void Main(string[] args)
    {
        PrintHelperMethod(delegate(int val) { Console.WriteLine("Anonymous method: {0}", val); }, 100);
    }
}
Output:
Anonymous method: 110

Anonymous methods can be used as event handlers:

Example: Anonymous Method as Event Handler
saveButton.Click += delegate(Object o, EventArgs e)
{ 
    System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox.Show("Save Successfully!"); 
};

C# 3.0 introduced the lambda expression which also works like an anonymous method.

Anonymous Method Limitations

  • It cannot contain jump statement like goto, break or continue.
  • It cannot access ref or out parameter of an outer method.
  • It cannot have or access unsafe code.
  • It cannot be used on the left side of the is operator.
Points to Remember :
  1. Anonymous method can be defined using the delegate keyword
  2. Anonymous method must be assigned to a delegate.
  3. Anonymous method can access outer variables or functions.
  4. Anonymous method can be passed as a parameter.
  5. Anonymous method can be used as event handlers.
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