A function pointer, also called a subroutine pointer or procedure pointer, is a pointer that points to a function. As opposed to referencing a data value, a function pointer points to executable code within memory. Dereferencing the function pointer yields the referenced function, which can be invoked and passed arguments just as in a normal function call. Such an invocation is also known as an "indirect" call, because the function is being invoked indirectly through a variable instead of directly through a fixed identifier or address.
Function pointers can be used to simplify code by providing a simple way to select a function to execute based on run-time values.
Function pointers are supported by third-generation programming languages (such as PL/I, COBOL, Fortran, dBASE dBL, and C) and object-oriented programming languages (such as C++, C#, and D).