Adds a new syntactical element called an “inline const”, written as const { ... }, which instructs the compiler to execute the contents of the block at compile-time. An inline const can be used as an expression or anywhere in a pattern where a named const would be allowed.

use std::net::Ipv6Addr;

fn mock_ip(use_localhost: bool) -> &'static Ipv6Addr {
    if use_localhost {
    } else {
        const { &Ipv6Addr::new(0x2001, 0xdb8, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0) }

const MMIO_BIT1: u8 = 4;
const MMIO_BIT2: u8 = 5;

fn main() {
    match read_mmio() {
        0 => {}
        const { 1 << MMIO_BIT1 } => println!("FOO"),
        const { 1 << MMIO_BIT2 } => println!("BAR"),

        _ => unreachable!(),


Rust has const items, which are guaranteed to be initialized at compile-time. Because of this, they can do things that normal variables cannot. For example, a reference in a const initializer has the 'static lifetime, and a const can be used as an array initializer even if the type of the array is not Copy (with RFC 2203).

fn foo(x: &i32) -> &i32 {
    const ZERO: &'static i32 = &0;
    if *x < 0 { ZERO } else { x }

fn foo() -> &u32 {
    const RANGE: Range<i32> = 0..5; // `Range` is not `Copy`
    let three_ranges = [RANGE; 3];

Writing out a const declaration every time we need a long-lived reference or a non-Copy array initializer can be annoying. To improve the situation, RFC 1414 introduced rvalue static promotion to extend lifetimes, and RFC 2203 extended the concept of promotion to array initializers. As a result, the previous example can be written more concisely.

fn foo(x: &i32) -> &i32 {
    if *x < 0 { &0 } else { x }

fn foo() -> &u32 {
    let three_ranges = [0..5; 3];

However, the fact that we are executing the array initializer or expression after the & at compile-time is not obvious to the user. To avoid violating their assumptions, we are very careful to promote only in cases where the user cannot possibly tell that their code is not executing at runtime. This means a long list of rules for determining the promotability of expressions, and it means expressions that call a const fn or that result in a type with a Drop impl need to use a named const declaration.

Guide-level explanation

This proposal is a middle ground, which is less verbose than named constants but more obvious and expressive than promotion. In expression context, it behaves much like the user had written the following, where Ty is the inferred type of the code within the inline const expression (represented by the ellipsis):

{ const UNIQUE_IDENT: Ty = ...; UNIQUE_IDENT }

With this extension to the language, users can ensure that their code executes at compile-time without needing to declare a separate const item that is only used once.

fn foo(x: &i32) -> &i32 {
  if *x < 0 { const { &4i32.pow(4) } } else { x }

fn foo() -> &u32 {
    let three_ranges = [const { (0..=5).into_inner() }; 3];


Patterns are another context that require a named const when using complex expressions. Unlike in the expression context, where promotion is sometimes applicable, there is no other choice here.

fn foo(x: i32) {
    const CUBE: i32 = 3.pow(3);
    match x {
        CUBE => println!("three cubed"),
        _ => {}

If that const is only used inside a single pattern, writing the code using an inline const block makes it easier to scan.

fn foo(x: i32) {
    match x {
        const { 3.pow(3) } => println!("three cubed"),
        _ => {}

Reference-level explanation

This RFC extends the grammar for expressions to be,

ExpressionWithBlock :
      | AsyncBlockExpression
      | UnsafeBlockExpression
      | ConstBlockExpression // new
      | LoopExpression
      | IfExpression
      | IfLetExpression
      | MatchExpression

ConstBlockExpression: `const` BlockExpression // new

This RFC extends the grammar for patterns to be,

Pattern :
   | IdentifierPattern
   | WildcardPattern
   | RangePattern
   | ReferencePattern
   | StructPattern
   | TupleStructPattern
   | TuplePattern
   | GroupedPattern
   | SlicePattern
   | PathPattern
   | MacroInvocation
   | ConstBlockExpression // new

RangePatternBound :
   | PathInExpression
   | QualifiedPathInExpression
   | ConstBlockExpression // new

In both the expression and pattern context, an inline const behaves as if the user had declared a uniquely named constant in the containing scope and referenced it.

Generic Parameters

For now, inline const expressions and patterns cannot refer to in-scope generic parameters. As of this writing, the same restriction applies to array length expressions, which seem like a good precedent for this RFC. As far as I know, this is only a temporary restriction; the long-term goal is to allow array length expressions to use generic parameters. When this happens, inline const expressions and patterns will also be allowed to refer to in-scope generics.

fn foo<T>() {
    let x = [4i32; std::mem::size_of::<T>()];   // NOT ALLOWED (for now)
    let x = const { std::mem::size_of::<T>() }; // NOT ALLOWED (for now)

Containing unsafe

At present, containing unsafe blocks do not apply to array length expressions inside:

fn bar() {
    let x = unsafe {
        [4i32; std::intrinsics::unchecked_add(2i32, 3i32)] // ERROR

I find this somewhat strange, but consistency is important, so inline const expressions should behave the same way. The following would also fail to compile:

fn bar() {
    let x = unsafe {
      const { std::intrinsics::unchecked_add(2i32, 3i32) } // ERROR

If #72359 is considered a bug and resolved, that change would also apply to inline const expressions and patterns.


This excludes other uses of the const keyword in expressions and patterns. I’m not aware of any other proposals that would take advantage of this.

This would also be the first use of type inference for const initializers. Type inference for named constants was proposed in RFC 1349. I don’t believe the blockers for this were technical, so I think this is possible.

Rationale and alternatives

The main alternative is the status quo. Maintaining it will likely result in promotion being used for more contexts. The lang-team decided to explore this approach instead.

It would also possible to separate out the parts of this RFC relating to patterns so that they can be decided upon separately.

Prior art

Zig has the comptime keyword that works similarly when it appears before a block.

I’m not aware of equivalents in other languages.

AFAIK, this was first proposed by @scottmcm.

Unresolved questions


I prefer the name inline const, since it signals that there is no difference between a named const and an inline one.

@scottmcm prefers “const block”, which is closer to the syntax and parallels the current terminology of async block and unsafe block. It also avoids any accidental conflation with the #[inline] attribute, which is unrelated. Additionally, it doesn’t extend nicely to the single-expression variant discussed in future possibilities.

@RalfJung prefers “anonymous const”. @scottmcm mentioned in Zulip that this could be confused with the const _: () = ...; syntax introduced in RFC 2526. The reference refers to these as “unnamed” constants.

Lints about placement of inline const

An inline const is eligible for promotion in an implicit context (just like a named const), so the following are all guaranteed to work:

let x: &'static i32 = &const { 4i32.pow(4) };
let x: &'static i32 = const { &4i32.pow(4) };

// If RFC 2203 is stabilized
let v = [const { Vec::new() }; 3];
let v = const { [Vec::new(); 3] };

I don’t have strong feelings about which version should be preferred. @RalfJung points out that &const { 4 + 2 } is more readable than const { &(4 + 2) }.

Note that it may be possible for RFC 2203 to use the explicit rules for promotability when T: !Copy. In this case, the last part of the example above could simply be written as [Vec::new(); 3].

Inline consts are allowed within const and static initializers, just as we currently allow nested const declarations. Whether to lint against inline const expressions inside a const or static is also an open question.

Future possibilities

It would be possible to allow the syntax const expr for an inline const that consists of a single expression. This is analogous to the single expression variant of closures: || 42. This is backwards compatible with the current proposal.

At some point (an edition boundary?), we may want to narrow the scope of expressions that are eligible for implicit promotion. Inline const expressions would be the recommended replacement for expressions that were no longer eligible.