Iterator library
Iterator concepts
Iterator primitives
Algorithm concepts and utilities
Indirect callable concepts
Common algorithm requirements
Iterator adaptors
Range access
reference operator* () const;
(1) (since C++11)
(constexpr since C++17)
pointer operator->() const;
(2) (since C++11)
(constexpr since C++17)
(deprecated in C++20)

Returns an rvalue-reference or pointer to the current element.

1) Equivalent to static_cast<reference>(*base())(until C++20)ranges::iter_move(base())(since C++20).
2) Equivalent to base().


[edit] Parameters


[edit] Return value

1) Rvalue-reference to the current element or its copy.
2) Copy of the underlying iterator. A pointer to the current element is eventually returned if -> is directly used.

[edit] Notes

Note that (2) eventually returns a pointer if -> is directly used. When dereferencing a pointer the returned value is an lvalue. This may lead to unintended behavior.

[edit] Example

#include <iomanip>
#include <iostream>
#include <iterator>
#include <string>
#include <vector>
void print(auto rem, auto const& v)
    for (std::cout << rem; auto const& e : v)
        std::cout << std::quoted(e) << ' ';
    std::cout << '\n';
int main()
    std::vector<std::string> p{"alpha", "beta", "gamma", "delta"}, q;
    print("1) p: ", p);
    for (std::move_iterator it{p.begin()}, end{p.end()}; it != end; ++it)
        it->push_back('!'); // calls -> string::push_back(char)
        q.emplace_back(*it); // *it <- overload (1)
    print("2) p: ", p);
    print("3) q: ", q);
    std::vector v{1, 2, 3};
    std::move_iterator it{v.begin()};
    // *it = 13; // error: using rvalue as lvalue

Possible output:

1) p: "alpha" "beta" "gamma" "delta"
2) p: "" "" "" ""
3) q: "alpha!" "beta!" "gamma!" "delta!"

[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 2106 C++11 dereferencing a move_iterator could return a dangling reference
if the dereferencing the underlying iterator returns a prvalue
returns the object instead

[edit] See also

accesses an element by index
(public member function) [edit]