Published Oct 24, 2023
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Enums, short for enumerations, are a custom data type that enables the selection of a value from a predefined list of related options. Enums are useful for modelling concepts categorized into distinct cases or states. They can help to enhance code readability and handle different scenarios in a structured way.

Note: Enums differ from structs because they don’t store data associated with each variant. They are a way to define a type with distinct values, whereas structs are used to create custom data structures that can store various fields.


enum MyEnum {

let option_one = MyEnum::OptionOne;

The declaration of enums in Rust is initiated with the enum keyword, followed by the enum’s name, in this case MyEnum. The enum consists of distinct values enclosed within curly braces, in this case, OptionOne, OptionTwo and OptionThree.

Accessing values within an enum is achieved through the :: notation. MyEnum::OptionOne represents the enum variant OptionOne of the MyEnum enum, and this reference is assigned the variable option_one.

Data Types in Enums

Enums in Rust are versatile and can store many data types. They are not limited to strings; they enable different data types, such as:

  • Variants with No Associated Data: These are simple variants without associated data.
  • Variants with Associated Data: These variants can hold data of different types, such as integers, floats, or booleans.
  • Tuple Variants: These variants store tuples as associated data.
  • Struct Variants: These variants can contain structured data, enabling the use of more complex data structures.

This example contains an enum with different data type options:

fn main() {
enum Hulk {
Hero, // Variant with no associated data
Name(String), // Variant with a string associated data
Parameters(f64, f64), // Variant with a tuple as associated data
Bio { name: String, age: i32 }, // Variant with a struct as associated data
let name = Hulk::Name(String::from("Hulk"));
println!("{:?}", name); // Output: Name("Hulk")


The following example first creates an enum called Avengers containing variants with no associated data. Then, it creates variables for each variant in the Avengers enum. Finally, the println!() function prints each variable to the console:

fn main() {
// Define Avengers enum
enum Avengers {
// Access enum variants
let iron_man = Avengers::IronMan;
let thor = Avengers::Thor;
let hulk = Avengers::Hulk;
// Print enum values
println!("{:?}", iron_man);
println!("{:?}", thor);
println!("{:?}", hulk);

The example will result in the following output:


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