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Scalaz is a Scala library for functional programming.

It provides purely functional data structures to complement those from the Scala standard library. It defines a set of foundational type classes (e.g. Functor, Monad) and corresponding instances for a large number of data structures.


Getting Scalaz

The current stable version is 7.3.8, which is cross-built against Scala 2.12.x, 2.13.x, 3.x and Scala.js, scala-native.

If you're using SBT, add the following line to your build file:

libraryDependencies += "org.scalaz" %% "scalaz-core" % "7.3.8"

For Maven and other build tools, you can visit (This search will also list all available modules of scalaz.)

To get sample configurations, click on the version of the module you are interested in. You can also find direct download links at the bottom of that page. Choose the file ending in 7.3.8.jar.

Quick Start

import scalaz._
import std.option._, std.list._ // functions and type class instances for Option and List

scala> Apply[Option].apply2(some(1), some(2))((a, b) => a + b)
res0: Option[Int] = Some(3)

scala> Traverse[List].traverse(List(1, 2, 3))(i => some(i))
res1: Option[List[Int]] = Some(List(1, 2, 3))

Use of the Ops classes, defined under scalaz.syntax.

import scalaz._
import std.list._ // type class instances for List
import syntax.bind._ // syntax for the Bind type class (and its parents)

scala> List(List(1)).join
res0: List[Int] = List(1)

scala> List(true, false).ifM(List(0, 1), List(2, 3))
res1: List[Int] = List(0, 1, 2, 3)

We've gone to great lengths to give you an a-la-carte importing experience, but if you prefer an all-you-can-eat buffet, you're in luck:

import scalaz._
import Scalaz._

scala> NonEmptyList(1, 2, 3).cojoin
res0: scalaz.NonEmptyList[scalaz.NonEmptyList[Int]] = NonEmptyList(NonEmptyList(1, 2, 3), NonEmptyList(2, 3), NonEmptyList(3))

scala> 1.node(2.leaf, 3.node(4.leaf))
res1: scalaz.Tree[Int] = <tree>

scala> List(some(1), none).suml
res2: Option[Int] = Some(1)


Let the types speak for themselves via the Scalaz Scaladocs!

The examples module contains some snippets of Scalaz usage.

The wiki contains release and migration information.

Talk with us by joining IRC: channel #scalaz, or join the Scalaz mailing list on Google Groups.

The typelevel blog has some great posts such as Towards Scalaz by Adelbert Chang.

Learning Scalaz is a great series of blog posts by Eugene Yokota. Thanks, Eugene!

Changes in Version 7

Scalaz 7 represents a major reorganization of the library. We have taken a fresh look at the challenges of encoding type classes in Scala, in particular at when and how to employ the implicit scope.

At a glance

  • scalaz.{effect, iteratee} split to separate sub-projects; scalaz.{http, geo} dropped.
  • Refined and expanded the type class hierarchy.
  • Type class instances are no longer defined in the companion objects of the type class. Instances for standard library types are defined under scalaz.std, and instances for Scalaz data types are defined in the companion object for those types. An instance definition can provide multiple type classes in a single place, which was not always possible in Scalaz 6.
  • Type class instances have been organized to avoid ambiguity, a problem that arises when instances are dependent on other instances (for example, Monoid[(A, B)])
  • Use of implicit views to provide access to Scalaz functionality as extension methods has been segregated to scalaz.syntax, and can be imported selectively, and need not be used at all.
  • Related functions are defined in the type class trait, to support standalone usage of the type class. In Scalaz 6, these were defined in Identity, MA, or MAB.
  • New data structures have been added, and existing ones generalized. A number of monad transformers have been provided, in some cases generalizing old data structures.


Scalaz has been modularised.

  • scalaz-core: Type class hierarchy, data structures, type class instances for the Scala and Java standard libraries, implicit conversions / syntax to access these.
  • scalaz-effect: Data structures to represent and compose IO effects in the type system.
  • scalaz-iteratee: Experimental new Iteratee implementation

Type Class Hierarchy

  • Type classes form an inheritance hierarchy, as in Scalaz 6. This is convenient both at the call site and at the type class instance definition. At the call site, it ensures that you can call a method requiring a more general type class with an instance of a more specific type class:
def bar[M[_]: Functor] = ()

def foo[M[_]: Monad] = bar[M] // Monad[M] is a subtype of Functor[M]
  • The hierarchy itself is largely the same as in Scalaz 6. However, there have been a few adjustments, some method signatures have been adjusted to support better standalone usage, so code depending on these will need to be re-worked.

Type Class Instance Definition

  • Constructive implicits, which create a type class instance automatically based on instances of all parent type classes, are removed. These led to subtle errors with ambiguous implicits, such as this problem with FunctorBindApply
  • Type class instances are no longer declared in fragments in the companion objects of the type class. Instead, they are defined in the package scalaz.std, and must be imported. These instances are defined in traits which will be mixed together into an object for importing en-masse, if desired.
  • A single implicit can define a number of type class instances for a type.
  • A type class definition can override methods (including derived methods) for efficiency.

Here is an instance definition for Option. Notice that the method map has been overridden.

  implicit val option: Traverse[Option] with MonadPlus[Option] = new Traverse[Option] with MonadPlus[Option] {
    def point[A](a: => A) = Some(a)
    def bind[A, B](fa: Option[A])(f: A => Option[B]): Option[B] = fa flatMap f
    override def map[A, B](fa: Option[A])(f: A => B): Option[B] = fa map f
    def traverseImpl[F[_], A, B](fa: Option[A])(f: A => F[B])(implicit F: Applicative[F]) =
      fa map (a => Option[B])) getOrElse F.point(None)
    def empty[A]: Option[A] = None
    def plus[A](a: Option[A], b: => Option[A]) = a orElse b
    def foldR[A, B](fa: Option[A], z: B)(f: (A) => (=> B) => B): B = fa match {
      case Some(a) => f(a)(z)
      case None => z

To use this, one would:

import scalaz.std.option.optionInstance
// or, importing all instances en-masse
// import scalaz.Scalaz._

val M = Monad[Option]
val oi: Option[Int] = M.point(0)


We co-opt the term syntax to refer to the way we allow the functionality of Scalaz to be called in the object.method(args) form, which can be easier to read, and, given that type inference in Scala flows from left-to-right, can require fewer type annotations.

  • No more Identity, MA, or MAB from Scalaz 6.
  • Syntax is segregated from rest of the library, in a sub-package scalaz.syntax.
  • All Scalaz functionality is available without using the provided syntax, by directly calling methods on the type class or its companion object.
  • Syntax is available a-la-carte. You can import the syntax for working with particular type classes where you need it. This avoids flooding the autocompletion in your IDE with every possible extension method. This should also help compiler performance, by reducing the implicit search space.
  • Syntax is layered in the same way as type classes. Importing the syntax for, say, Applicative will also provide the syntax for Apply and Functor.

Syntax can be imported in two ways. Firstly, the syntax specialized for a particular instance of a type class can be imported directly from the instance itself.

// import the type class instance
import scalaz.std.option.optionInstance

// import the implicit conversions to `MonadOps[Option, A]`, `BindOps[Option, A]`, ...
import optionInstance.monadSyntax._

val oi: Option[Option[Int]] = Some(Some(1))

// Expands to: `ToBindOps(io).join`

Alternatively, the syntax can be imported for a particular type class.

// import the type class instance
import scalaz.std.option.optionInstance

// import the implicit conversions to `MonadOps[F, A]`, `BindOps[F, A]`, ...
import scalaz.syntax.monad._

val oi: Option[Option[Int]] = Some(Some(1))

// Expands to: ToBindOps(io).join

For some degree of backwards compatibility with Scalaz 6, the über-import of import scalaz.Scalaz._ will import all implicit conversions that provide syntax (as well as type class instances and other functions). However, we recommend to review usage of this and replace with more focussed imports.

Standalone Type Class Usage

Type classes should be directly usable, without first needing to trigger implicit conversions. This might be desirable to reduce the runtime or cognitive overhead of the pimped types, or to define your own pimped types with a syntax of your choosing.

  • The methods in type classes have been curried to maximize type inference.
  • Derived methods, based on the abstract methods in a type class, are defined in the type class itself.
  • Each type class companion object is fitted with a convenient apply method to obtain an instance of the type class.
    // Equivalent to `implicitly[Monad[Option]]`
    val O = Monad[Option]

    // `bind` is defined with two parameter sections, so that the type of `x` is inferred as `Int`.
    O.bind(Some(1))(x => Some(x * 2))

    def plus(a: Int, b: Int) = a + b

    // `Apply#lift2` is a function derived from `Apply#ap`.
    val plusOpt = O.lift2(plus)

Type Class Instance Dependencies

Type class instances may depend on other instances. In simple cases, this is as straightforward as adding an implicit parameter (or, equivalently, a context bound), to the implicit method.

  implicit def optionMonoid[A: Semigroup]: Monoid[Option[A]] = new Monoid[Option[A]] {
    def append(f1: Option[A], f2: => Option[A]): Option[A] = (f1, f2) match {
      case (Some(a1), Some(a2)) => Some(Semigroup[A].append(a1, a2))
      case (Some(a1), None) => f1
      case (None, Some(a2)) => f2
      case (None, None) => None

    def zero: Option[A] = None

Type class instances for 'transformers', such as OptionT, present a more subtle challenge. OptionT[F, A] is a wrapper for a value of type F[Option[A]]. It allows us to write:

val ot = OptionT(List(Some(1), None)) Int) => a * 2) // OptionT(List(Some(2), None))

The method OptionT#map requires an implicit parameter of type Functor[F], whereas OptionT#flatMap requires one of type Monad[F]. The capabilities of OptionT increase with those of F. We need to encode this into the type class instances for [a]OptionT[F[A]].

This is done with a hierarchy of type class implementation traits and a corresponding set of prioritized implicit methods.

In case of ambiguous implicits, Scala will favour one defined in a sub-class of the other. This is to avoid ambiguity when in cases like the following:

type OptionTList[A] = OptionT[List[A]]

// Candidates:
// 1. OptionT.OptionTFunctor[List](implicitly[Functor[List]])
// 2. OptionT.OptionTMonad[List](implicitly[Functor[List]])
// #2 is defined in a subclass of the enclosing class of #1, so #2 is preferred.

Transformers and Identity

A stronger emphasis has been placed on transformer data structures (aka Monad Transformers). For example State is now a type alias for StateT[Id, A, B].

Id is defined in the scalaz package object as:

type Id[A] = A


Documentation for contributors


Support for Scalaz development is provided by Jetbrains.

Thanks to Mark Harrah and the sbt contributors for providing our build tool.