C++ Programming Examples: Definition and Overloading Class Operators

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In C ++ you can define custom operators for their own data types. The operator is defined as an ordinary class member function only after determining the type of the return and putting the keyword “operator”.

Example of the definition of addition operator:

int operator+ (int value) { return number + value; }

The operator can be unary or binary. The unary operator takes no arguments – for example, the negation operator “!”. A binary operator takes an additional parameter. For example, in the case of addition, the second term is accepted.

To clarify, let’s try to write the simple_fraction class, which will describe the simple fraction with integer numerator and denominator. And, define the operators of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division for this class.

class simple_fraction
	simple_fraction(int numerator, int denominator)
		if (denominator == 0) // devision by 0 error
			throw std::runtime_error("zero division error");
		this->numerator = numerator;
		this->denominator = denominator;

	double operator+ (int val) { return number() + val; } // addition 
	double operator- (int val) { return number() - val; } // substraction
	double operator* (int val) { return number() * val; } // multiplication 
	double operator/ (int val) // division 
		if (val == 0) {
			throw std::runtime_error("zero division error");
		return number() / val;

	double number() { return numerator / (double)denominator; }
	int numerator; // numerator
	int denominator; // denominator

For a division operation, we also perform a background check for division by zero.

Example of simple_fraction class:

simple_fraction fr(2, 3);

double sum = fr + 10; // sum
double diff = fr - 10; // difference
double factor = fr * 10; // composition
double div = fr / 10; // quotient

Operators can be overloaded in the same way as regular class member functions. For example, it is possible to overload the addition operator for two simple fractions, which will return a new simple fraction.

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