Defined in header <cstdlib>
             void abort();
(until C++11)
[[noreturn]] void abort() noexcept;
(since C++11)

Causes abnormal program termination unless SIGABRT is being caught by a signal handler passed to std::signal and the handler does not return.

Destructors of variables with automatic, thread local (since C++11) and static storage durations are not called. Functions registered with std::atexit() and std::at_quick_exit (since C++11) are also not called. Whether open resources such as files are closed is implementation defined. An implementation defined status is returned to the host environment that indicates unsuccessful execution.



Return value

None because it does not return.


Throws nothing.


POSIX specifies that the abort() function overrides blocking or ignoring the SIGABRT signal.

Some compiler intrinsics, e.g. __builtin_trap (gcc, clang, and icc) or __debugbreak (msvc), can be used to terminate the program as fast as possible.


#include <csignal>
#include <iostream>
#include <cstdlib>
class Tester {
    Tester()  { std::cout << "Tester ctor\n"; }
    ~Tester() { std::cout << "Tester dtor\n"; }
Tester static_tester; // Destructor not called
void signal_handler(int signal) 
    if (signal == SIGABRT) {
        std::cerr << "SIGABRT received\n";
    } else {
        std::cerr << "Unexpected signal " << signal << " received\n";
int main()
    Tester automatic_tester; // Destructor not called
    // Setup handler
    auto previous_handler = std::signal(SIGABRT, signal_handler);
    if (previous_handler == SIG_ERR) {
        std::cerr << "Setup failed\n";
        return EXIT_FAILURE;
    std::abort();  // Raise SIGABRT
    std::cout << "This code is unreachable\n";


Tester ctor
Tester ctor
SIGABRT received

See also

causes normal program termination with cleaning up
registers a function to be called on std::exit() invocation
causes quick program termination without completely cleaning up
registers a function to be called on std::quick_exit invocation
sets a signal handler for particular signal
function called when exception handling fails
C documentation for abort

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