Headline

A labelled data structure that unifies different representations under one type. Tagged unions also have a label identifying which representation they carry at any given time, untagged unions do not.

Illustration

In Language:C, one can define an untagged union, for example a type that may contain either an integer or a floating point number:

union Number {
    int    i;
    double d;
};

One can also manually create a tagged union using a Record, an Enumeration and an untagged union:

enum NumberType { INT, DOUBLE };

struct TaggedNumber {
    enum  NumberType type;
    union Number     number;
};

Some languages, like Language:Haskell, provide built-in support for tagged unions instead.

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