<computer programming> A property of a data-object that can exist in many shapes and sizes, but not simultaneously; which distinguishes it from a union. It is often implemented as a set of classes (or structs) derived from a common base class (or with a common header, as in the case of structs), typically without any methods.

It has been loosely described as polymorphic data.

[Clarification?]

(01 Feb 1996)

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