6.40 Statement Attributes

GCC allows attributes to be set on null statements. See Attribute Syntax, for details of the exact syntax for using attributes. Other attributes are available for functions (see Declaring Attributes of Functions), variables (see Specifying Attributes of Variables), labels (see Label Attributes), enumerators (see Enumerator Attributes), and for types (see Specifying Attributes of Types).


The fallthrough attribute with a null statement serves as a fallthrough statement. It hints to the compiler that a statement that falls through to another case label, or user-defined label in a switch statement is intentional and thus the -Wimplicit-fallthrough warning must not trigger. The fallthrough attribute may appear at most once in each attribute list, and may not be mixed with other attributes. It can only be used in a switch statement (the compiler will issue an error otherwise), after a preceding statement and before a logically succeeding case label, or user-defined label.

This example uses the fallthrough statement attribute to indicate that the -Wimplicit-fallthrough warning should not be emitted:

switch (cond)
  case 1:
    bar (1);
  case 2:

The assume attribute with a null statement serves as portable assumption. It should have a single argument, a conditional expression, which is not evaluated. If the argument would evaluate to true at the point where it appears, it has no effect, otherwise there is undefined behavior. This is a GNU variant of the ISO C++23 standard assume attribute, but it can be used in any version of both C and C++.

foo (int x, int y)
  __attribute__((assume(x == 42)));
  __attribute__((assume(++y == 43)));
  return x + y;

y is not actually incremented and the compiler can but does not have to optimize it to just return 42 + 42;.