< cpp‎ | error
Diagnostics library
Exception handling
Exception handling failures
(until C++17*)
(until C++17*)
(C++11)(until C++17*)    
(until C++17*)
Error codes
Error codes
Defined in header <exception>
void terminate();
(until C++11)
[[noreturn]] void terminate() noexcept;
(since C++11)

std::terminate() is called by the C++ runtime when the program cannot continue for any of the following reasons:

1) An exception is thrown and not caught (it is implementation-defined whether any stack unwinding is done in this case).
2) A function directly invoked by the exception handling mechanism while handling an exception that has not yet been caught exits via an exception (e.g. a destructor of some local object, or a copy constructor constructing a catch-clause parameter).
3) The constructor or the destructor of a static or thread-local(since C++11) object throws an exception.
4) A function registered with std::atexit or std::at_quick_exit(since C++11) throws an exception.
5) A dynamic exception specification is violated and the default handler for std::unexpected is executed.
6) A non-default handler for std::unexpected throws an exception that violates the previously violated dynamic exception specification, if the specification does not include std::bad_exception.
(until C++17)
7) A noexcept specification is violated (it is implementation-defined whether any stack unwinding is done in this case).
8) std::nested_exception::rethrow_nested is called for an object that isn't holding a captured exception.
9) An exception is thrown from the initial function of std::thread.
10) A joinable std::thread is destroyed or assigned to.
11) std::condition_variable::wait, std::condition_variable::wait_until, or std::condition_variable::wait_for fails to reach its postcondition (e.g. if relocking the mutex throws).
(since C++11)
12) A function invoked by a parallel algorithm exits via an uncaught exception and the execution policy specifies termination.
(since C++17)

std::terminate() may also be called directly from the program.

When std::terminate is called due to a thrown exception, an implicit try/catch handler is considered active. Thus, calling std::current_exception will return the thrown exception.

In any case, std::terminate calls the currently installed std::terminate_handler. The default std::terminate_handler calls std::abort.

If a destructor reset the terminate handler during stack unwinding and the unwinding later led to terminate being called, the handler that was installed at the end of the throw expression is the one that will be called. (note: it was ambiguous whether re-throwing applied the new handlers)

(until C++11)

If a destructor reset the terminate handler during stack unwinding, it is unspecified which handler is called if the unwinding later led to terminate being called.

(since C++11)

[edit] Notes

If the handler mechanism is not wanted, e.g. because it requires atomic operations which may bloat binary size, a direct call to std::abort is preferred when terminating the program abnormally.

Some compiler intrinsics, e.g. __builtin_trap (gcc, clang, and icc) or __debugbreak (msvc), can be used to terminate the program as fast as possible.

[edit] Defect reports

The following behavior-changing defect reports were applied retroactively to previously published C++ standards.

DR Applied to Behavior as published Correct behavior
LWG 2111 C++11 effect of calling std::set_terminate during stack
unwinding differs from C++98 and breaks some ABIs
made unspecified

[edit] See also

the type of the function called by std::terminate
(typedef) [edit]
causes abnormal program termination (without cleaning up)
(function) [edit]
pauses the running program when called
(function) [edit]