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Lambda Expressions: Scope of Variables, Method, and Anonymous Functions

Gopi Gorantala
Gopi Gorantala
1 min read

Table of Contents

Ok! So we have seen what lambda expressions are. Let us see what we can access inside lambda expressions.

Lambda expressions provide a concise way to represent functional interfaces. Functional interfaces are interfaces that have a single abstract method, and lambda expressions can be used as a shorthand notation to implement those methods.

There are rules regarding the scope of variables, methods, and anonymous functions when using lambda expressions. Let's explore each of these scopes in Java lambda expressions:


    • Local Variables: Lambda expressions can effectively access final local variables, i.e., variables that are not explicitly marked as "final" but are not reassigned after initialization. These variables can be accessed and used within the lambda expression.
    • Instance Variables: Lambda expressions can directly access instance variables of the enclosing class.
    • Static Variables: Lambda expressions can access static variables of the enclosing class directly.


    • Default Methods: Lambda expressions cannot access the default methods of an interface. They can only access the abstract method of the functional interface they are implementing.
    • Static Methods: Lambda expressions cannot access static methods of any interface or class.

Anonymous Functions

    • Lambda expressions themselves act as anonymous functions in Java. They are defined inline and can be passed as arguments or assigned to variables.
    • Lambda expressions can represent the implementation of a single abstract method in a functional interface.
    • The lambda expression's body defines the code executed when the method represented by the functional interface is called.

Lambda expressions have a concise syntax and allow for more readable and expressive code. They are commonly used in functional programming, stream operations, and event-driven programming in Java. When using lambda expressions, it's essential to understand the scope of variables, methods, and anonymous functions to ensure proper usage and avoid any unexpected behavior.

It's worth noting that lambda expressions are not limited to Java 8 and above. They are also available in later versions of Java, including Java 11 and Java 17, with added features and improvements to the lambda expression syntax.

Java Streams API

Gopi Gorantala Twitter

Gopi is a software engineer with over 14 years of experience. He specializes in Java-based technology stack and has worked for various startups, the European government, and technology giants.


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