C++ Multi-dimensional Array

In the previous topic we have learnt about the basic concepts of array in C++. In this tutorial we are looking for another type of an array called multi-dimensional array.

C++ Multi-dimensional Array :

In C++ we can create multidimensional array.Syntax to create multidimensional array is as below –

data-type name[size1][size2]...[sizeN];

Suppose we need to create the 2-dimensional array then we can declare it as –

int mat[5][4];

The above 2-dimensional array consists of the 5 rows and 4 columns.

Two-Dimensional Arrays:

  1. Simplest form of the multidimensional array is the two-dimensional array.
  2. 2-dimensional array is also called as matrix or table.
  3. 2-dimensional array has 2 dimensions.
  4. First dimension represents the number of row
  5. Second dimension represents the number of columns.

Example of 2-dimensional array :

Consider the 2-dimensional array of size x,y then we can declare it like

data_type nameOfArray [ x ][ y ];

where –

  • data_type will be any valid C++ data type
  • nameOfArray will be name of 2-dimensional array.
  • x will be number of rows
  • y will be number of columns

Representation :


Cell Location Meaning
a[0][0] 0th Row and 0th Column
a[0][1] 0th Row and 1st Column
a[0][2] 0th Row and 2nd Column
a[0][3] 0th Row and 3rd Column
a[1][0] 1st Row and 0th Column
a[1][1] 1st Row and 1st Column
a[1][2] 1st Row and 2nd Column
a[1][3] 1st Row and 3rd Column
a[2][0] 2nd Row and 0th Column
a[2][1] 2nd Row and 1st Column
a[2][2] 2nd Row and 2nd Column
a[2][3] 2nd Row and 3rd Column

Two-Dimensional Array : Summary with Sample Example

Summary Point Explanation
No of Subscript Variables Required 2
Declaration a[3][4]
No of Rows 3
No of Columns 4
No of Cells 12
No of for loops required to iterate 2

Initializing the 2-D array :

int a[3][2] = {
    { 1 , 4 },  /*Initialize 0th row*/
    { 5 , 2 },  /*Initialize 1st row*/
    { 6 , 5 }   /*Initialize 2nd row*/

We can alternatively declare it as –

int a[3][2] = {1,4,5,2,6,5};