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What is a multiple inheritance?

What is a multiple inheritance?

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Multiple inheritance is an object-oriented term indicating the ability of a child class to use or "inherit" functionality of multiple parent classes.

In the C++ programming language, this concept is expressed in class "AChild", as follows:

class Parent1 {...};

class Parent2 {...};

class AChild : public Parent1, public Parent2 {...};

The Java programming language does not support the concept of multiple inheritance of classes, but it does support the concept of multiple interface inheritance.

Let's take a look at a simple example of multiple interface inheritance using the Java programming language.

First, we define the first parent interface:

public interface Parent1


public void sayHello();


Now, we define the second parent interface:

public interface Parent2


public void sayGoodbye();


Now, we define a child interface which inherits from both parent interface, using the "extends" keyword:

public interface AChild extends Parent1, Parent2



With these definitions in place, a class that implements the AChild interface will be required to implement the sayHello method and the sayGoodbye method.

This was first published in July 2004

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