What Is a Enqueue in Data Structure?


Larry Thompson

The enqueue operation is an essential concept in data structures. It allows us to add elements to a data structure, specifically a queue, in a specific order. In this article, we will explore what an enqueue operation is and how it functions within the context of data structures.

Understanding Enqueue

In simple terms, enqueue refers to the process of adding an element to the end of a queue. A queue follows the First-In-First-Out (FIFO) principle, meaning that the element added first will be the first one to be removed.

To enqueue an element, we need to consider two important aspects:

  • Element: The actual value that we want to add to the queue.
  • Position: The location at which we want to insert the element.

The enqueue operation ensures that elements are inserted in an ordered manner. It maintains the sequence in which elements are added, allowing us to process them accordingly.

Enqueue Implementation

To implement an enqueue operation, we require a data structure called a queue. A queue can be implemented using arrays or linked lists. In either case, the enqueue operation follows a similar procedure:

  1. Create or initialize a queue.
  2. Determine the position where you want to insert the new element (usually at the end).
  3. Check if there is enough space in the queue for insertion (in case of arrays).
  4. If there is enough space, insert the element at the specified position.
  5. If there is not enough space (in case of arrays), consider resizing or implementing additional logic based on your requirements.

The enqueue operation ensures that the element is added to the queue in an organized manner, maintaining the FIFO order. This makes it easier to process elements and retrieve them based on their order of insertion.


Let’s consider a simple example to understand enqueue better:

Suppose we have a queue with the following elements: 1, 2, 3.

If we enqueue the element 4, it will be added to the end of the queue, resulting in: 1, 2, 3, 4.

If we enqueue another element, let’s say 5, it will follow the same pattern and be inserted at the end: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

This process continues as we enqueue more elements. Each new element is added to the end of the queue while maintaining its original order.


The enqueue operation plays a crucial role in data structures like queues. It allows us to add elements in a specific order and maintain their sequence. By understanding how to implement an enqueue operation and how it functions within a data structure, you can effectively manage and process your data with ease.

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