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In programming language theory and type theory, polymorphism is the provision of a single interface to entities of different types or the use of a single symbol to represent multiple different types. The concept is borrowed from a principle in biology where an organism or species can have many different forms or stages.
|Ad hoc polymorphism|
The most commonly recognized major classes of polymorphism are:
- Ad hoc polymorphism: defines a common interface for an arbitrary set of individually specified types.
- Parametric polymorphism: not specifying concrete types and instead use abstract symbols that can substitute for any type.
- Subtyping (also called subtype polymorphism or inclusion polymorphism): when a name denotes instances of many different classes related by some common superclass.