Java Polymorphism

Polymorphism in Java

Polymorphism means “many forms”, and it occurs when we have many classes that are related to each other by inheritance.  Like we specified in the previous chapter- Inheritance lets us inherit attributes and methods from another class. Polymorphism uses those methods to perform different tasks. This allows us to perform a single action in different ways.

For example, think of a superclass called Animal that has a method called animalSound(). Subclasses of Animals could be Pigs, Cats, Dogs, Birds – And they also have their own implementation of an animal sound (the pig oinks, and the cat meows, etc.):

Example

class Animal {
  public void animalSound() {
    System.out.println("The animal makes a sound");
  }
}

class Pig extends Animal {
  public void animalSound() {
    System.out.println("The pig says: wee wee");
  }
}

class Dog extends Animal {
  public void animalSound() {
    System.out.println("The dog says: bow wow");
  }
}

Remember from the Inheritance chapter that we use the extends keyword to inherit from a class.

Now we can create Pig and Dog objects and call the animalSound() method on both of them:

Example

class Animal {
  public void animalSound() {
    System.out.println("The animal makes a sound");
  }
}

class Pig extends Animal {
  public void animalSound() {
    System.out.println("The pig says: wee wee");
  }
}

class Dog extends Animal {
  public void animalSound() {
    System.out.println("The dog says: bow wow");
  }
}

class MyMainClass {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    Animal myAnimal = new Animal();  // Create a Animal object
    Animal myPig = new Pig();  // Create a Pig object
    Animal myDog = new Dog();  // Create a Dog object
    myAnimal.animalSound();
    myPig.animalSound();
    myDog.animalSound();
  }
}

Output:

The animal makes a sound
The pig says: wee wee
The dog says: bow wow

Polymorphism in Java has two types: Compile time polymorphism (static binding) and Runtime polymorphism (dynamic binding). Method overloading is an example of static polymorphism, while method overriding is an example of dynamic polymorphism

Polymorphism in Java is a concept by which we can perform a single action in different ways. Polymorphism is derived from 2 Greek words: poly and morphs. The word “poly” means many and “morphs” means forms. So polymorphism means many forms.

There are two types of polymorphism in Java: compile-time polymorphism and runtime polymorphism. We can perform polymorphism in java by method overloading and method overriding.

If you overload a static method in Java, it is the example of compile time polymorphism. Here, we will focus on runtime polymorphism in java