minmax() in C++ STL

The C++ Standard Library consists of the header, <algorithm> which defines a collection of functions (principally designed to deal with a range of elements). minmax() is a method in the STL that returns the smallest and largest element among two elements or, an initializer list


minmax( data_type a, data_type b, comparator);
minmax( init_list, comparator );
// comparator is optional

Parameters: The minmax() method accepts 4 parameters

  • a, b: Values to compare
  • init_list: Initializer list with the values to compare
  • comparator: Binary function that accepts two elements in the range as arguments, and returns a value convertible to bool.

Return value: A pair object, whose first member (pair::first) is the smallest element, and the second member (pair::second) is the largest

Example of minmax() method


using namespace std;

int main()
    pair<int, int> p;
    p = minmax(33, 10);

    cout << "The minimum is : "<<p.first<<endl;
    cout << "The maximum is : "<<p.second<<endl;

    p = minmax({5,6,1,3,4});

    cout << "The minimum is : "<<p.first<<endl;
    cout << "The maximum is : "<<p.second<<endl;


The minimum is : 10
The maximum is : 33
The minimum is : 1
The maximum is : 6

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