What exactly is nullptr?

How is it a keyword and an instance of a type?

This isn’t surprising. Both true and false are keywords and as literals they have a type ( bool ). nullptr is a pointer literal of type std::nullptr_t, and it’s a prvalue (you cannot take the address of it using &).

  • 4.10 about pointer conversion says that a prvalue of type std::nullptr_t is a null pointer constant, and that an integral null pointer constant can be converted to std::nullptr_t. The opposite direction is not allowed. This allows overloading a function for both pointers and integers, and passing nullptr to select the pointer version. Passing NULL or 0 would confusingly select the int version.
  • A cast of nullptr_t to an integral type needs a reinterpret_cast, and has the same semantics as a cast of (void*)0 to an integral type (mapping implementation defined). A reinterpret_cast cannot convert nullptr_t to any pointer type. Rely on the implicit conversion if possible or use static_cast.
  • The Standard requires that sizeof(nullptr_t) be sizeof(void*).

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