Dynamic Memory

In C++98 there are six flavors each of operator new and operator delete, so make certain that you're using the right ones. Here are quickie descriptions of operator new:

void* operator new(std::size_t);
Single object form. Throws std::bad_alloc on error. This is what most people are used to using.
void* operator new(std::size_t, std::nothrow_t) noexcept;
Single object nothrow form. Calls operator new(std::size_t) but if that throws, returns a null pointer instead.
void* operator new[](std::size_t);
Array new. Calls operator new(std::size_t) and so throws std::bad_alloc on error.
void* operator new[](std::size_t, std::nothrow_t) noexcept;
Array nothrownew. Calls operator new[](std::size_t) but if that throws, returns a null pointer instead.
void* operator new(std::size_t, void*) noexcept;
Non-allocating, placement single-object new, which does nothing except return its argument. This function cannot be replaced.
void* operator new[](std::size_t, void*) noexcept;
Non-allocating, placement array new, which also does nothing except return its argument. This function cannot be replaced.

They are distinguished by the arguments that you pass to them, like any other overloaded function. The six flavors of operator delete are distinguished the same way, but none of them are allowed to throw an exception under any circumstances anyhow. (The overloads match up with the ones above, for completeness' sake.)

The C++ 2014 revision of the standard added two additional overloads of operator delete for sized deallocation, allowing the compiler to provide the size of the storage being freed.

The C++ 2017 standard added even more overloads of both operator new and operator delete for allocating and deallocating storage for overaligned types. These overloads correspond to each of the allocating forms of operator new and operator delete but with an additional parameter of type std::align_val_t. These new overloads are not interchangeable with the versions without an aligment parameter, so if memory was allocated by an overload of operator new taking an alignment parameter, then it must be decallocated by the corresponding overload of operator delete that takes an alignment parameter.

Apart from the non-allocating forms, the default versions of the array and nothrow operator new functions will all result in a call to either operator new(std::size_t) or operator new(std::size_t, std::align_val_t), and similarly the default versions of the array and nothrow operator delete functions will result in a call to either operator delete(void*) or operator delete(void*, std::align_val_t) (or the sized versions of those).

Apart from the non-allocating forms, any of these functions can be replaced by defining a function with the same signature in your program. Replacement versions must preserve certain guarantees, such as memory obtained from a nothrow operator new being free-able by the normal (non-nothrow) operator delete, and the sized and unsized forms of operator delete being interchangeable (because it's unspecified whether the compiler calls the sized delete instead of the normal one). The simplest way to meet the guarantees is to only replace the ordinary operator new(size_t) and operator delete(void*) and operator delete(void*, std::size_t) functions, and the replaced versions will be used by all of operator new(size_t, nothrow_t), operator new[](size_t) and operator new[](size_t, nothrow_t) and the corresponding operator delete functions. To support types with extended alignment you may also need to replace operator new(size_t, align_val_t) and operator delete(void*, align_val_t) operator delete(void*, size_t, align_val_t) (which will then be used by the nothrow and array forms for extended alignments). If you do need to replace other forms (e.g. to define the nothrow operator new to allocate memory directly, so it works with exceptions disabled) then make sure the memory it allocates can still be freed by the non-nothrow forms of operator delete.

If the default versions of operator new(std::size_t) and operator new(size_t, std::align_val_t) can't allocate the memory requested, they usually throw an exception object of type std::bad_alloc (or some class derived from that). However, the program can influence that behavior by registering a new-handler, because what operator new actually does is something like:

    while (true)
      if (void* p = /* try to allocate memory */)
        return p;
      else if (std::new_handler h = std::get_new_handler ())
        h ();
        throw bad_alloc{};

This means you can influence what happens on allocation failure by writing your own new-handler and then registering it with std::set_new_handler:

   typedef void (*PFV)();

   static char*  safety;
   static PFV    old_handler;

   void my_new_handler ()
       delete[] safety;
       safety = nullptr;
       popup_window ("Dude, you are running low on heap memory.  You"
		     " should, like, close some windows, or something."
		     " The next time you run out, we're gonna burn!");
       set_new_handler (old_handler);

   int main ()
       safety = new char[500000];
       old_handler = set_new_handler (&my_new_handler);

Additional Notes

Remember that it is perfectly okay to delete a null pointer! Nothing happens, by definition. That is not the same thing as deleting a pointer twice.

std::bad_alloc is derived from the base std::exception class, see Exceptions.