< c‎ | types
Defined in header <stddef.h>
Defined in header <stdio.h>
Defined in header <string.h>
Defined in header <time.h>
typedef /*implementation-defined*/ size_t;

size_t is the unsigned integer type of the result of sizeof , alignof (since C11) and offsetof.

[edit] Notes

size_t can store the maximum size of a theoretically possible object of any type (including array).

size_t is commonly used for array indexing and loop counting. Programs that use other types, such as unsigned int, for array indexing may fail on, e.g. 64-bit systems when the index exceeds UINT_MAX or if it relies on 32-bit modular arithmetic.

[edit] Example

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stddef.h>
#include <stdint.h>
int main(void)
    const size_t N = 100;
    int numbers[N];
    for (size_t ndx = 0; ndx < N; ++ndx)
        numbers[ndx] = ndx;
    printf("SIZE_MAX = %lu\n", SIZE_MAX);
    size_t size = sizeof numbers;
    printf("size = %zu\n", size);

Possible output:

SIZE_MAX = 18446744073709551615
size = 400

[edit] See also

signed integer type returned when subtracting two pointers
byte offset from the beginning of a struct type to specified member
(function macro)
C++ documentation for size_t