Polymorphism in Ruby: A Simplified Explanation

Introduction to Polymorphism

Polymorphism is a core concept in Object-Oriented Programming (OOP). It allows objects of different classes to be treated as objects of a common base class. In Ruby, polymorphism simplifies code by allowing you to work with objects in a generic way, making it more flexible and extensible. In this guide, we'll explore polymorphism in Ruby with simple examples.

Polymorphic Behavior

In Ruby, polymorphism is often achieved through method overriding. Multiple classes can implement the same method, but each class provides its own specific implementation. Here's an example:

class Animal
def speak
puts "Animal makes a sound."
class Dog < Animal
def speak
puts "Dog barks loudly."
class Cat < Animal
def speak
puts "Cat meows softly."

In this example, both Dog and Cat classes inherit from the Animal class and override the speak method with their specific behavior.

Polymorphic Usage

Polymorphism allows you to work with objects of different classes using a common interface. Here's how you can use polymorphism:

def make_speak(animal)
animal = Animal.new
dog = Dog.new
cat = Cat.new

The make_speak method takes any object that responds to the speak method, and you can pass objects of different classes to it, resulting in polymorphic behavior.


Polymorphism simplifies code by allowing you to work with objects in a generic way while maintaining specific behavior for each class. It promotes flexibility and extensibility in your Ruby applications, making them easier to maintain and extend.

Practice using polymorphism in your Ruby programs to become a proficient Ruby developer. For more information, refer to the official Ruby documentation.

Happy coding!