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Scope of Variables in Lambda Expressions

In this lesson, you will learn about the scope of variables inside lambda expressions.

Gopi Gorantala
Gopi Gorantala
1 min read

Table of Contents

Variable scope

Inside lambda expressions, we can access all the variables that are in the class scope.

Local Variable: A variable declared inside the method's body is called a local variable. You can use this variable only within that method; the other methods in the class aren’t even unaware that the variable exists.

Instance variable: A variable declared inside the class but outside the method's body is called an instance variable, not declared as static.

Static variable: A variable declared as static is called a static variable.

Example code

Here's an example that demonstrates the scope of variables in lambda expressions.

interface MyFunctionalInterface {
  void myMethod();

public class VariablesScope {
  private static final int staticVariable = 10;
  private final int instanceVariable = 20;

  public static void main(String[] args) {
    VariablesScope example = new VariablesScope();

  public void lambdaScopeExample() {
    int localVariable = 30;

    // Lambda expression accessing local, instance, and static variables
    MyFunctionalInterface myLambda =
        () -> {
          System.out.println("Local variable: " + localVariable);
          System.out.println("Instance variable: " + instanceVariable);
          System.out.println("Static variable: " + staticVariable);


In this example, we have a class LambdaVariablesExample that contains three types of variables: staticVariable (a static variable), instanceVariable (an instance variable), and localVariable (a local variable within the lambdaScopeExample method).

The MyFunctionalInterface is a functional interface with a single abstract method myMethod(), which is implemented using a lambda expression in the lambdaScopeExample method.

Inside the lambda expression, we access the localVariable, instanceVariable, and staticVariable from the enclosing class. The lambda expression prints the values of these variables using System.out.println().

When we run the program, the output will be:

Local variable: 30
Instance variable: 20
Static variable: 10

This example demonstrates that lambda expressions can access local, instance, and static variables from their enclosing scope. However, it's important to note that lambda expressions can only effectively access final local variables, meaning variables that are not reassigned after initialization.

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Gopi Gorantala Twitter

Gopi is an engineering leader with 12+ of experience in full-stack development—a specialist in Java technology stack. He worked for multiple startups, the European govt, and FAANG in India and Europe.


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