An enumeration is used to define a type consisting of a set of named values.

enum Color {
  case Red, Green, Blue

This defines a new sealed class, Color, with three values, Color.Red, Color.Green, Color.Blue. The color values are members of Colors companion object.

Parameterized enums

Enums can be parameterized.

enum Color(val rgb: Int) {
  case Red   extends Color(0xFF0000)
  case Green extends Color(0x00FF00)
  case Blue  extends Color(0x0000FF)

As the example shows, you can define the parameter value by using an explicit extends clause.

Methods defined for enums

The values of an enum correspond to unique integers. The integer associated with an enum value is returned by its ordinal method:

scala> val red = Color.Red
val red: Color = Red
scala> red.ordinal
val res0: Int = 0

The companion object of an enum also defines two utility methods. The valueOf method obtains an enum value by its name. The values method returns all enum values defined in an enumeration in an Array.

scala> Color.valueOf("Blue")
val res0: Color = Blue
scala> Color.values
val res1: Array[Color] = Array(Red, Green, Blue)

User-defined members of enums

It is possible to add your own definitions to an enum. Example:

enum Planet(mass: Double, radius: Double) {
  private final val G = 6.67300E-11
  def surfaceGravity = G * mass / (radius * radius)
  def surfaceWeight(otherMass: Double) =  otherMass * surfaceGravity

  case Mercury extends Planet(3.303e+23, 2.4397e6)
  case Venus   extends Planet(4.869e+24, 6.0518e6)
  case Earth   extends Planet(5.976e+24, 6.37814e6)
  case Mars    extends Planet(6.421e+23, 3.3972e6)
  case Jupiter extends Planet(1.9e+27,   7.1492e7)
  case Saturn  extends Planet(5.688e+26, 6.0268e7)
  case Uranus  extends Planet(8.686e+25, 2.5559e7)
  case Neptune extends Planet(1.024e+26, 2.4746e7)

It is also possible to define an explicit companion object for an enum:

object Planet {
  def main(args: Array[String]) = {
    val earthWeight = args(0).toDouble
    val mass = earthWeight / Earth.surfaceGravity
    for (p <- values)
      println(s"Your weight on $p is ${p.surfaceWeight(mass)}")

Compatibility with Java Enums

If you want to use the Scala-defined enums as Java enums, you can do so by extending java.lang.Enum class as follows:

enum Color extends java.lang.Enum[Color] { case Red, Green, Blue }

The type parameter comes from the Java enum definition and should be the same as the type of the enum. There is no need to provide constructor arguments (as defined in the Java API docs) to java.lang.Enum when extending it – the compiler will generate them automatically.

After defining Color like that, you can use it like you would a Java enum:

scala> Color.Red.compareTo(Color.Green)
val res15: Int = -1

For a more in-depth example of using Scala 3 enums from Java, see this test. In the test, the enums are defined in the MainScala.scala file and used from a Java source, Test.java.


Enums are represented as sealed classes that extend the scala.Enum trait. This trait defines a single public method, ordinal:

package scala

/** A base trait of all enum classes */
trait Enum {

  /** A number uniquely identifying a case of an enum */
  def ordinal: Int

Enum values with extends clauses get expanded to anonymous class instances. For instance, the Venus value above would be defined like this:

val Venus: Planet =
  new Planet(4.869E24, 6051800.0) {
    def ordinal: Int = 1
    override def toString: String = "Venus"
    // internal code to register value

Enum values without extends clauses all share a single implementation that can be instantiated using a private method that takes a tag and a name as arguments. For instance, the first definition of value Color.Red above would expand to:

val Red: Color = $new(0, "Red")


For more info, see Issue #1970 and PR #4003.