PHP Classes and Objects Anonymous Classes


Anonymous classes were introduced into PHP 7 to enable for quick one-off objects to be easily created. They can take constructor arguments, extend other classes, implement interfaces, and use traits just like normal classes can.

In its most basic form, an anonymous class looks like the following:

new class("constructor argument") {
    public function __construct($param) {
}; // string(20) "constructor argument"

Nesting an anonymous class inside of another class does not give it access to private or protected methods or properties of that outer class. Access to protected methods and properties of the outer class can be gained by extending the outer class from the anonymous class. Access to private properties of the outer class can be gained by passing them through to the anonymous class's constructor.

For example:

class Outer {
    private $prop = 1;
    protected $prop2 = 2;

    protected function func1() {
        return 3;

    public function func2() {
        // passing through the private $this->prop property
        return new class($this->prop) extends Outer {
            private $prop3;

            public function __construct($prop) {
                $this->prop3 = $prop;

            public function func3() {
                // accessing the protected property Outer::$prop2
                // accessing the protected method Outer::func1()
                // accessing the local property self::$prop3 that was private from Outer::$prop
                return $this->prop2 + $this->func1() + $this->prop3;

echo (new Outer)->func2()->func3(); // 6