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copy_term(?OldTerm, -NewTerm)

A copy of OldTerm with new variables is created and unified with NewTerm.
Prolog term.
Prolog term.


A copy of OldTerm is created, ie. a term that is similar to OldTerm but the free variables of OldTerm have been replaced by new variables which do not occur elsewhere. In other words, the new term is a most general variant of the old one in the sense of variant/2.

Metaterms are treated like normal variables, except that their attributes are copied as specified by the corresponding copy_term handler.

The effect of copy_term/2 is almost the same as of the sequence

    setval(reserved_name, OldTerm),
    getval(reserved_name, NewTerm)
or a similar application of record/erase or assert/retract. However, copy_term/2 is faster, handles attributed variables more sensibly and is also more space efficient since it does not physically copy ground subterms.

Note that when the structure of the term to be copied is known, then it is more efficient to use specialised unification code or a combination of functor/3 and arg/3 to do the job.

Modes and Determinism


   copy_term(a, C).          (gives C=a).
   copy_term(s(X,a,Y,X), C). (gives C=s(_g1, a, _g2, _g1)).
   copy_term([X,2|Y], C).    (gives C=[_g1, 2| _g2]).
   copy_term(X, C).
   copy_term(X, s(1,2,3)).
   copy_term(s(X,X), s(3,4)).

See Also

copy_term_vars / 3, copy_term / 3, variant / 2, functor / 3, term_variables / 2