C++ Operator Precedence

The following table lists the precedence and associativity of C++ operators. Operators are listed top to bottom, in descending precedence.

Precedence Operator Description Associativity
1 :: Scope resolution Left-to-right
2 a++ a-- Suffix/postfix increment and decrement
type() type{} Functional cast
a() Function call
a[] Subscript
. -> Member access
3 ++a --a Prefix increment and decrement Right-to-left
+a -a Unary plus and minus
! ~ Logical NOT and bitwise NOT
(type) C-style cast
*a Indirection (dereference)
&a Address-of
sizeof Size-of[note 1]
new new[] Dynamic memory allocation
delete delete[] Dynamic memory deallocation
4 .* ->* Pointer-to-member Left-to-right
5 a*b a/b a%b Multiplication, division, and remainder
6 a+b a-b Addition and subtraction
7 << >> Bitwise left shift and right shift
8 < <= For relational operators < and ≤ respectively
> >= For relational operators > and ≥ respectively
9 == != For relational operators = and ≠ respectively
10 a&b Bitwise AND
11 ^ Bitwise XOR (exclusive or)
12 | Bitwise OR (inclusive or)
13 && Logical AND
14 || Logical OR
15 a?b:c Ternary conditional[note 2] Right-to-left
throw throw operator
= Direct assignment (provided by default for C++ classes)
+= -= Compound assignment by sum and difference
*= /= %= Compound assignment by product, quotient, and remainder
<<= >>= Compound assignment by bitwise left shift and right shift
&= ^= |= Compound assignment by bitwise AND, XOR, and OR
16 , Comma Left-to-right
  1. The operand of sizeof can't be a C-style type cast: the expression sizeof (int) * p is unambiguously interpreted as (sizeof(int)) * p, but not sizeof((int)*p).
  2. The expression in the middle of the conditional operator (between ? and :) is parsed as if parenthesized: its precedence relative to ?: is ignored.

When parsing an expression, an operator which is listed on some row of the table above with a precedence will be bound tighter (as if by parentheses) to its arguments than any operator that is listed on a row further below it with a lower precedence. For example, the expressions std::cout << a & b and *p++ are parsed as (std::cout << a) & b and *(p++), and not as std::cout << (a & b) or (*p)++.

Operators that have the same precedence are bound to their arguments in the direction of their associativity. For example, the expression a = b = c is parsed as a = (b = c), and not as (a = b) = c because of right-to-left associativity of assignment, but a + b - c is parsed (a + b) - c and not a + (b - c) because of left-to-right associativity of addition and subtraction.

Associativity specification is redundant for unary operators and is only shown for completeness: unary prefix operators always associate right-to-left (delete ++*p is delete(++(*p))) and unary postfix operators always associate left-to-right (a[1][2]++ is ((a[1])[2])++). Note that the associativity is meaningful for member access operators, even though they are grouped with unary postfix operators: a.b++ is parsed (a.b)++ and not a.(b++).

Operator precedence is unaffected by operator overloading. For example, std::cout << a ? b : c; parses as (std::cout << a) ? b : c; because the precedence of arithmetic left shift is higher than the conditional operator.


Precedence and associativity are compile-time concepts and are independent from order of evaluation, which is a runtime concept.

The standard itself doesn't specify precedence levels. They are derived from the grammar.

const_cast, static_cast, dynamic_cast, reinterpret_cast, typeid, sizeof..., noexcept and alignof are not included since they are never ambiguous.

Some of the operators have alternate spellings (e.g., and for &&, or for ||, not for !, etc.).

Relative precedence of the ternary conditional and assignment operators differs between C and C++: in C, assignment is not allowed on the right-hand side of a ternary conditional operator, so e = a < d ? a++ : a = d cannot be parsed. Many C compilers use a modified grammar where ?: has higher precedence than =, which parses that as e = ( ((a < d) ? (a++) : a) = d ) (which then fails to compile because ?: is never lvalue in C and = requires lvalue on the left). In C++, ?: and = have equal precedence and group right-to-left, so that e = a < d ? a++ : a = d parses as e = ((a < d) ? (a++) : (a = d)).

See also

Common operators
assignment increment
arithmetic logical comparison member

a = b a += b a -= b a *= b a /= b a %= b a &= b a |= b a ^= b a <<= b a >>= b.

++a --a a++ a--

+a -a a + b a - b a * b a / b a % b ~a a & b a | b a ^ b a << b a >> b.

!a a && b a || b.

a == b a != b a < b a > b a <= b a >= b.

a[b] *a &a a->b a.b a->*b a.*b.

a(...) a, b ? :

Special operators

static_cast converts one type to another related type
dynamic_cast converts within inheritance hierarchies
const_cast adds or removes cv qualifiers
reinterpret_cast converts type to unrelated type
C-style cast converts one type to another by a mix of static_cast, const_cast, and reinterpret_cast
new creates objects with dynamic storage duration
delete destructs objects previously created by the new expression and releases obtained memory area
sizeof queries the size of a type
sizeof... queries the size of a parameter pack (since C++11)
typeid queries the type information of a type
noexcept checks if an expression can throw an exception (since C++11)
alignof queries alignment requirements of a type (since C++11).

C documentation for C operator precedence

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