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What is abs() in C++?

Kainat Asif

The abs() function in C++ is used to get the absolute value of a number. The absolute value of a number is the distance of the number from 0. In other words, it is the non-negative value of the number. The absolute value of a number x is represented as |x| as shown below:

Library

To use the abs() function, include the following library:

#include <cstdlib>

Declaration

The abs() function is declared as:

int abs(int x);  

Or

long int abs(long int x );  

Or

long long int abs(long long int x);  
  • x: The number whose absolute value will be calculated.

Return value

The abs() function returns the absolute value of x.

abs() for floating-point types

The abs() function in the cstlib header file computes the absolute value of integer data type i.e. int. To calculate the absolute value of floating-point types, the abs() function is overloaded in the library cmath. The abs() function in cmath header file is declared as:

double abs (double x);

Or

float abs (float x);

Or

long double abs (long double x);

Or

double abs (T x);

Examples

Example 1

Consider the code snippet below, which demonstrates the use of the abs() function:

#include <cstdlib>
#include <iostream>
  
using namespace std;
  
int main()
{
    int x1 = -4;
    int x2 = 0;
    int x3 = 4;

    int abs1 = abs(x1);
    cout<< "abs ( "<<x1<<" ) = "<<abs1<<endl;

    int abs2 = abs(x2);
    cout<< "abs ( "<<x2<<" ) = "<<abs2<<endl;
    
    int abs3 = abs(x3);
    cout<< "abs ( "<<x3<<" ) = "<<abs3<<endl;

    return 0;
}

Explanation

Three integers x1, x2, and x3 are declared in line 8-10. The abs() function is used in line 12, line 15, and line 18 to calculate the absolute value of x1, x2, and x3 respectively.

Example 2

Consider the code snippet below, which demonstrates the use of the abs() function from cmath header file:

#include <cmath>
#include <iostream>
  
using namespace std;
  
int main()
{
    float x1 = -4.4;
    float x2 = 0;
    float x3 = 4.9;

    float abs1 = abs(x1);
    cout<< "abs ( "<<x1<<" ) = "<<abs1<<endl;

    float abs2 = abs(x2);
    cout<< "abs ( "<<x2<<" ) = "<<abs2<<endl;
    
    float abs3 = abs(x3);
    cout<< "abs ( "<<x3<<" ) = "<<abs3<<endl;

    return 0;
}

Explanation

Three floats x1, x2, and x3 are declared in line 8-10. The abs() function is used in line 12, line 15, and line 18 to calculate the absolute value of x1, x2, and x3 respectively.

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