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undef

Perl 5 version 10.1 documentation
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undef

  • undef EXPR

  • undef

    Undefines the value of EXPR, which must be an lvalue. Use only on a scalar value, an array (using @ ), a hash (using % ), a subroutine (using & ), or a typeglob (using * ). (Saying undef $hash{$key} will probably not do what you expect on most predefined variables or DBM list values, so don't do that; see delete.) Always returns the undefined value. You can omit the EXPR, in which case nothing is undefined, but you still get an undefined value that you could, for instance, return from a subroutine, assign to a variable or pass as a parameter. Examples:

    1. undef $foo;
    2. undef $bar{'blurfl'}; # Compare to: delete $bar{'blurfl'};
    3. undef @ary;
    4. undef %hash;
    5. undef &mysub;
    6. undef *xyz; # destroys $xyz, @xyz, %xyz, &xyz, etc.
    7. return (wantarray ? (undef, $errmsg) : undef) if $they_blew_it;
    8. select undef, undef, undef, 0.25;
    9. ($a, $b, undef, $c) = &foo; # Ignore third value returned

    Note that this is a unary operator, not a list operator.