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Polymorphism | What is polymorphism with example?

Polymorphism is a concept that is heavily used in object-oriented programming, and is often considered to be one of the pillars of object-oriented programming. We will go over what polymorphism is, how it functions, and why it is significant in this blog article.

We’ll also explore some examples of how polymorphism can be used to create powerful and flexible code. So, let’s get started!

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Definition of Polymorphism:

A key idea in object-oriented programming is polymorphism, which describes how various objects can react differently to the same function call. It allows for a single interface to be used to access different types of objects that implement the same methods. Polymorphism, in other words, is the ability of an object to take on different forms. An essential idea in object-oriented computing is polymorphism. It is used to increase code reusability and maintainability. It is also used to improve code readability and scalability.

History of Polymorphism:

Polymorphism has been around for centuries. The term itself originates from Greek, meaning “many forms”. Polymorphism was first used in the late 1800s by Charles Darwin to describe different species that have the same characteristics.

In the 1950s, Alan Turing described polymorphism as an essential concept in computer science, referring to the ability of data structures to take on different forms depending on their context. This idea was further developed by computer scientists, eventually leading to its widespread use in object-oriented programming (OOP) languages such as Java.

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So what is polymorphism in Java? Java polymorphism is a concept that enables multiple ways to carry out a particular action. It is achieved when a class inherits from a parent class and the methods in the child class have the same signature as those in the parent class. This allows us to use the same method to call on objects of different classes that inherit from the parent class. In other words, polymorphism provides a way for us to use common interfaces for unrelated classes.

Examples of Polymorphism:

One of the most commonly used examples of polymorphism is in object-oriented programming languages such as Java. Polymorphism is the ability to create objects that can take on multiple forms. It is the ability of an object to assume many different forms depending on the context. For example, a shape object could have various forms like square, circle, triangle, and rectangle. Each of these forms can have different properties like color, size, and sides.

Polymorphism also allows for different types of classes to be written in the same manner even if their behavior is different. This helps to make code more modular and easier to maintain. This is accomplished, for instance, in Java by using interfaces. Abstract classes and interfaces contain functions that all classes that implement them must implement as well. By doing this, a programmer can write a single set of code that can be used with multiple different classes without having to write unique code for each one.

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What is Polymorphism in java?

In object-oriented programming (OOP), polymorphism is a crucial idea that enables programmers to use the same interface for various bases. In other words, it refers to a computer language’s capacity to treat objects in various ways according to their data type or structure. Polymorphism enables developers to write code that is more flexible, efficient and readable.

Polymorphism is accomplished in Java by using generic classes and interfaces. A class that cannot be created is said to be abstract. An abstract class’s non-abstract subclasses, however, are required to execute each and every abstract method that was declared in the superclass.

On the other hand, an interface is a collection of method declarations that can be implemented by any class. Any class implementing an interface must define all of its methods according to the interface definition.

In Java, polymorphism can be further divided into two types: static polymorphism and dynamic polymorphism.

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Static polymorphism:

Static polymorphism ability to have within the class with the same name but distinct parameters.

Dynamic polymorphism:

In order to accomplish dynamic polymorphism, method overriding is used and it allows an overriding method in a subclass to provide its own implementation for a method defined in a superclass.

Developers can write more effectively, easier to manage code by using polymorphism. It also makes applications more extensible and robust since it allows developers to make changes to one class without having to update code across multiple classes. Additionally, polymorphism enables developers to access related objects with a single interface, making their code cleaner and more readable.


It facilitates code reuse and makes programming easier by minimizing the quantity of duplicate code.

Polymorphism also reduces complexity by allowing objects to be created in different forms, such as a base class, an inherited class, or an interface.

In Java, polymorphism is particularly useful because it enables you to use a single interface to represent a variety of related objects.

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You can build more effective and generalized code as a result. For example, you can use a single interface to represent a collection of objects, rather than having to write different methods for each object type.

Another advantage of polymorphism is that it allows you to modify existing code without changing the behavior of other parts of your program. This makes it easier to update your code without affecting other parts of the application.

Finally, polymorphism also makes it possible to create objects with similar interfaces, making it easier to switch between different types of objects within an application.


Despite its many advantages, polymorphism can have some drawbacks.

One of the primary issues with polymorphism is that it can be difficult to debug and maintain code when using it. This is because, with polymorphism, multiple types of objects can interact with each other, making it hard to pinpoint an issue or trace back to where a bug may have originated from.

Additionally, due to the dynamic nature of polymorphism, code written for one system may not be compatible with another system.

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This can lead to additional coding and troubleshooting if the software needs to be changed or ported to a different system.

Finally, there is often a performance cost associated with using polymorphism. For example, in Java, each time an object is cast, a type-check must be performed by the JVM which can lead to decreased performance in certain cases.

Overall, understanding what is polymorphism in Java and how to use it properly is an important skill for any programmer.

Although there are some disadvantages associated with this concept, its advantages often outweigh them, making it an extremely useful tool for object-oriented programming.


Polymorphism is an important concept in programming languages that allows for flexibility and reusability of code. It is a powerful tool that enables developers to write code once and apply it to multiple data types. The advantages of polymorphism, such as increased readability, reusability and maintainability, can help make development faster and easier.

However, it is important to use it correctly to prevent any potential errors. With the proper usage and understanding, polymorphism can be an invaluable asset to any development project.

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