Defined in header <memory>
template< class ForwardIt >
void destroy( ForwardIt first, ForwardIt last );
(since C++17)
(until C++20)
template< class ForwardIt >
constexpr void destroy( ForwardIt first, ForwardIt last );
(since C++20)
template< class ExecutionPolicy, class ForwardIt >
void destroy( ExecutionPolicy&& policy, ForwardIt first, ForwardIt last );
(2) (since C++17)
1) Destroys the objects in the range [firstlast), as if by
for (; first != last; ++first)
2) Same as (1), but executed according to policy. This overload does not participate in overload resolution unless

std::is_execution_policy_v<std::decay_t<ExecutionPolicy>> is true.

(until C++20)

std::is_execution_policy_v<std::remove_cvref_t<ExecutionPolicy>> is true.

(since C++20)


first, last - the range of elements to destroy
policy - the execution policy to use. See execution policy for details.
Type requirements
-ForwardIt must meet the requirements of LegacyForwardIterator.
-No increment, assignment, comparison, or indirection through valid instances of ForwardIt may throw exceptions.

Return value



Linear in the distance between first and last.


The overload with a template parameter named ExecutionPolicy reports errors as follows:

  • If execution of a function invoked as part of the algorithm throws an exception and ExecutionPolicy is one of the standard policies, std::terminate is called. For any other ExecutionPolicy, the behavior is implementation-defined.
  • If the algorithm fails to allocate memory, std::bad_alloc is thrown.

Possible implementation

template<class ForwardIt>
constexpr // since C++20
void destroy(ForwardIt first, ForwardIt last)
    for (; first != last; ++first)


The following example demonstrates how to use destroy to destroy a contiguous sequence of elements.

#include <iostream>
#include <memory>
#include <new>
struct Tracer
    int value;
    ~Tracer() { std::cout << value << " destructed\n"; }
int main()
    alignas(Tracer) unsigned char buffer[sizeof(Tracer) * 8];
    for (int i = 0; i < 8; ++i)
        new(buffer + sizeof(Tracer) * i) Tracer{i}; //manually construct objects
    auto ptr = std::launder(reinterpret_cast<Tracer*>(buffer));
    std::destroy(ptr, ptr + 8);


0 destructed
1 destructed
2 destructed
3 destructed
4 destructed
5 destructed
6 destructed
7 destructed

See also

destroys a number of objects in a range
(function template)
destroys an object at a given address
(function template)
destroys a range of objects

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