When is copy constructor called?

In C++, a Copy Constructor may be called in following cases:
1. When an object of the class is returned by value.
2. When an object of the class is passed (to a function) by value as an argument.
3. When an object is constructed based on another object of the same class.
4. When compiler generates a temporary object.

It is however, not guaranteed that a copy constructor will be called in all these cases, because the C++ Standard allows the compiler to optimize the copy away in certain cases, one example being the return value optimization (sometimes referred to as RVO).

References:
http://www.fredosaurus.com/notes-cpp/oop-condestructors/copyconstructors.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copy_constructor



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