Glossary: Memory Leak
OO programs are dynamic; the
they consist of are created and destroyed throughout the course of the
program execution. Objects require memory to hold their
The memory for objects created at execution time comes from the
When objects are destroyed it is essential that the memory that they occupied
is recovered. This is automatic for stack based objects, but is left to the
application code for heap based objects. Failing to destroy objects correctly
by using the delete operator results in memory clogged with dead objects, a
phenomenon referred to as a memory leak. Deleting an object more than once
can cause a program to crash; objects should only be deleted by their owners.
Memory leaks can result when there is no clear owner of an object.
Go Back to the
The Glossary Top Page
If you have any comments about this page please send them to