std::remove, std::remove_if

< cpp‎ | algorithm
Revision as of 12:04, 11 May 2014 by Cubbi (Talk | contribs)

Defined in header <algorithm>
template< class ForwardIt, class T >
ForwardIt remove( ForwardIt first, ForwardIt last, const T& value );
template< class ForwardIt, class UnaryPredicate >
ForwardIt remove_if( ForwardIt first, ForwardIt last, UnaryPredicate p );

Removes all elements satisfying specific criteria from the range [first, last) and returns a past-the-end iterator for the new end of the range.

The first version removes all elements that are equal to value, the second version removes all elements for which predicate p returns true.

Removing is done by shifting (by means of move assignment) the elements in the range in such a way that the elements that are not to be removed appear in the beginning of the range. Relative order of the elements that remain is preserved and the physical size of the container is unchanged. Iterators pointing to an element between the new logical end and the physical end of the range are still dereferenceable, but the elements themselves have unspecified values (as per MoveAssignable post-condition). A call to remove is typically followed by a call to a container's erase method, which erases the unspecified values and reduces the physical size of the container to match its new logical size.



first, last - the range of elements to process
value - the value of elements to remove
p - unary predicate which returns ​true if the element should be removed.

The signature of the predicate function should be equivalent to the following:

 bool pred(const Type &a);

The signature does not need to have const &, but the function must not modify the objects passed to it.
The type Type must be such that an object of type ForwardIt can be dereferenced and then implicitly converted to Type. ​

Type requirements
ForwardIt must meet the requirements of ForwardIterator.
The type of dereferenced ForwardIt must meet the requirements of MoveAssignable.
UnaryPredicate must meet the requirements of Predicate.

Return value

Iterator to the new end of the range


Exactly std::distance(first, last) applications of the predicate.


The similarly-named container member functions list::remove, list::remove_if, forward_list::remove, and forward_list::remove_if erase the removed elements.

These algorithms cannot be used with associative containers such as std::set and std::map because ForwardIt does not dereference to a MoveAssignbale type (the keys in these containers are not modifiable)

Possible implementation

First version
template< class ForwardIt, class T >
ForwardIt remove(ForwardIt first, ForwardIt last, const T& value)
    first = std::find(first, last, value);
    if (first != last)
        for(ForwardIt i = first; ++i != last; )
            if (!(*i == value))
                *first++ = std::move(*i);
    return first;
Second version
template<class ForwardIt, class UnaryPredicate>
ForwardIt remove_if(ForwardIt first, ForwardIt last, UnaryPredicate p)
    first = std::find_if(first, last, p);
    if (first != last)
        for(ForwardIt i = first; ++i != last; )
            if (!p(*i))
                *first++ = std::move(*i);
    return first;


The following code removes all spaces from a string by shifting all non-space characters to the left and then erasing the extra. This is an example of erase-remove idiom.

#include <algorithm>
#include <string>
#include <iostream>
#include <cctype>
int main()
    std::string str1 = "Text with some   spaces";
    str1.erase(std::remove(str1.begin(), str1.end(), ' '),
    std::cout << str1 << '\n';
    std::string str2 = "Text\n with\tsome \t  whitespaces\n\n";
                              [](char x){return std::isspace(x);}),
    std::cout << str2 << '\n';



See also

copies a range of elements omitting those that satisfy specific criteria
(function template) [edit]
removes consecutive duplicate elements in a range
(function template) [edit]