Trait core::ops::DerefMut

1.0.0 · source ·
pub trait DerefMut: Deref {
    // Required method
    fn deref_mut(&mut self) -> &mut Self::Target;
Expand description

Used for mutable dereferencing operations, like in *v = 1;.

In addition to being used for explicit dereferencing operations with the (unary) * operator in mutable contexts, DerefMut is also used implicitly by the compiler in many circumstances. This mechanism is called “mutable deref coercion”. In immutable contexts, Deref is used.

Warning: Deref coercion is a powerful language feature which has far-reaching implications for every type that implements DerefMut. The compiler will silently insert calls to DerefMut::deref_mut. For this reason, one should be careful about implementing DerefMut and only do so when mutable deref coercion is desirable. See the Deref docs for advice on when this is typically desirable or undesirable.

Types that implement DerefMut or Deref are often called “smart pointers” and the mechanism of deref coercion has been specifically designed to facilitate the pointer-like behaviour that name suggests. Often, the purpose of a “smart pointer” type is to change the ownership semantics of a contained value (for example, Rc or Cow) or the storage semantics of a contained value (for example, Box).

§Mutable deref coercion

If T implements DerefMut<Target = U>, and v is a value of type T, then:

  • In mutable contexts, *v (where T is neither a reference nor a raw pointer) is equivalent to *DerefMut::deref_mut(&mut v).
  • Values of type &mut T are coerced to values of type &mut U
  • T implicitly implements all the (mutable) methods of the type U.

For more details, visit the chapter in The Rust Programming Language as well as the reference sections on the dereference operator, method resolution and type coercions.


This trait’s method should never unexpectedly fail. Deref coercion means the compiler will often insert calls to DerefMut::deref_mut implicitly. Failure during dereferencing can be extremely confusing when DerefMut is invoked implicitly. In the majority of uses it should be infallible, though it may be acceptable to panic if the type is misused through programmer error, for example.

However, infallibility is not enforced and therefore not guaranteed. As such, unsafe code should not rely on infallibility in general for soundness.


A struct with a single field which is modifiable by dereferencing the struct.

use std::ops::{Deref, DerefMut};

struct DerefMutExample<T> {
    value: T

impl<T> Deref for DerefMutExample<T> {
    type Target = T;

    fn deref(&self) -> &Self::Target {

impl<T> DerefMut for DerefMutExample<T> {
    fn deref_mut(&mut self) -> &mut Self::Target {
        &mut self.value

let mut x = DerefMutExample { value: 'a' };
*x = 'b';
assert_eq!('b', x.value);

Required Methods§

1.0.0 · source

fn deref_mut(&mut self) -> &mut Self::Target

Mutably dereferences the value.



impl<'a, 'f: 'a> DerefMut for VaList<'a, 'f>

1.33.0 · source§

impl<Ptr: DerefMut<Target: Unpin>> DerefMut for Pin<Ptr>

1.9.0 · source§

impl<T> DerefMut for AssertUnwindSafe<T>

1.0.0 · source§

impl<T: ?Sized> !DerefMut for &T

1.0.0 · source§

impl<T: ?Sized> DerefMut for &mut T

1.0.0 · source§

impl<T: ?Sized> DerefMut for RefMut<'_, T>

1.20.0 · source§

impl<T: ?Sized> DerefMut for ManuallyDrop<T>