< cpp‎ | container‎ | array

reference back();
(until C++17)
constexpr reference back();
(since C++17)
const_reference back() const;
(until C++14)
constexpr const_reference back() const;
(since C++14)

Returns reference to the last element in the container.

Calling back on an empty container is undefined.


[edit] Parameters


[edit] Return value

Reference to the last element.

[edit] Complexity


[edit] Notes

For a container c, the expression return c.back(); is equivalent to { auto tmp = c.end(); --tmp; return *tmp; }

[edit] Example

The following code uses back to display the last element of a std::array<char>:

#include <array>
#include <iostream>
int main()
    std::array<char, 6> letters {'o', 'm', 'g', 'w', 't', 'f'};
    if (!letters.empty()) {
        std::cout << "The last character is: " << letters.back() << '\n';


The last character is f

[edit] See also

access the first element
(public member function)