Memory leak

<programming> A leak in a program's dynamic store allocation logic that causes it to fail to reclaim memory in the heap after it has finished using it, eventually causing the program to fail due to lack of memory.

These problems were severe on older machines with small, fixed-size address spaces, and special "leak detection" tools were written to diagnose them.

The introduction of virtual memory made memory leaks a less serious problem, although if you run out of virtual memory, it means you've got a *real* leak!

See aliasing bug.

[Jargon File]

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memoized function
memory address space
memory farts
core leak
fandango on core
memory location
memory management
Memory Management Unit
memory mapped I/O
memory protection