Functional Interfaces

How does lambda expressions fit into Java’s type system? Each lambda corresponds to a given type, specified by an interface. A so called functional interface must contain exactly one abstract method declaration. Each lambda expression of that type will be matched to this abstract method. Since default methods are not abstract you’re free to add default methods to your functional interface.

We can use arbitrary interfaces as lambda expressions as long as the interface only contains one abstract method. To ensure that your interface meet the requirements, you should add the @FunctionalInterface annotation. The compiler is aware of this annotation and throws a compiler error as soon as you try to add a second abstract method declaration to the interface.


  1. @FunctionalInterface
  2. interfaceConverter<F, T>{
  3. T convert(F from);
  4. }
  1. Converter<String,Integer> converter =(from)->Integer.valueOf(from);
  2. Integer converted = converter.convert("123");
  3. System.out.println(converted);// 123

Keep in mind that the code is also valid if the @FunctionalInterface annotation would be omitted.