What Is Enumerated Data Type With Example in C?


Larry Thompson

An enumerated data type, also known as an enum, is a user-defined data type in the C programming language. It is used to define a set of named integer constants. Each constant in an enum has an associated integer value, which can be used to represent different states or options in a program.

Defining an Enumerated Data Type

To define an enumerated data type in C, you use the enum keyword followed by the name of the enum and a list of constant names enclosed in curly braces. Each constant name is separated by a comma.

      enum Season {

In this example, we have defined an enum called “Season” with four constants: SPRING, SUMMER, AUTUMN, and WINTER. By default, the values associated with these constants start from zero and increment by one for each subsequent constant. Therefore, SPRING has a value of 0, SUMMER has a value of 1, AUTUMN has a value of 2, and WINTER has a value of 3.

Using Enumerated Data Types

To use an enumerated data type in C, you can declare variables of that type and assign one of its constants to them.

      enum Season currentSeason;
      currentSeason = SUMMER;

In this example, we declare a variable called “currentSeason” with the enum type “Season”. We then assign the constant SUMMER to the variable.

Benefits of Enumerated Data Types

Enumerated data types provide several benefits:

  • Readability: Enums make the code more readable by providing meaningful names for constants instead of using arbitrary integer values.
  • Maintainability: If you need to add or remove options in your program, you can easily modify the enum declaration without impacting the rest of the code.
  • Type Safety: Enums provide type safety because you cannot assign an integer value that is not part of the enum to a variable of that enum type.

Example: Using Enumerated Data Type

Let’s consider an example where we use an enum to represent different days of the week:

      enum Day {
      #include <stdio.h>
      int main() {
          enum Day today = WEDNESDAY;
          // Output: Today is Wednesday.
          printf(Today is %s., today == WEDNESDAY ? Wednesday:a different day);
          return 0;

In this example, we define an enum called “Day” with seven constants representing each day of the week. In the main function, we declare a variable called “today” of type “Day” and assign it the value WEDNESDAY. We then use an if-else statement to print the corresponding day based on the value of “today”.


Today is Wednesday.


Enumerated data types are a powerful feature in C that allow you to define named constants with associated integer values. They improve the readability, maintainability, and type safety of your code. By using enums, you can make your programs more organized and easier to understand.

Discord Server - Web Server - Private Server - DNS Server - Object-Oriented Programming - Scripting - Data Types - Data Structures

Privacy Policy