Ruby supports two forms of objectified methods. Class Method is used to represent methods that are associated with a particular object: these method objects are bound to that object. Bound method objects for an object can be created using Object#method.

Ruby also supports unbound methods; methods objects that are not associated with a particular object. These can be created either by calling Module#instance_method or by calling unbind on a bound method object. The result of both of these is an UnboundMethod object.

Unbound methods can only be called after they are bound to an object. That object must be a kind_of? the method’s original class.

class Square
  def area
    @side * @side
  def initialize(side)
    @side = side

area_un = Square.instance_method(:area)

s =
area = area_un.bind(s)   #=> 144

Unbound methods are a reference to the method at the time it was objectified: subsequent changes to the underlying class will not affect the unbound method.

class Test
  def test
um = Test.instance_method(:test)
class Test
  def test
t =
t.test            #=> :modified
um.bind(t).call   #=> :original
Instance Methods

Two method objects are equal if they are bound to the same object and refer to the same method definition and the classes defining the methods are the same class or module.

Returns an indication of the number of arguments accepted by a method. Returns a nonnegative integer for methods that take a fixed number of arguments. For Ruby methods that take a variable number of arguments, returns -n-1, where n is the number of required arguments. Keyword arguments will be considered as a single additional argument, that argument being mandatory if any keyword argument is mandatory. For methods written in C, returns -1 if the call takes a variable number of arguments.

class C
  def one;    end
  def two(a); end
  def three(*a);  end
  def four(a, b); end
  def five(a, b, *c);    end
  def six(a, b, *c, &d); end
  def seven(a, b, x:0); end
  def eight(x:, y:); end
  def nine(x:, y:, **z); end
  def ten(*a, x:, y:); end
c =
c.method(:one).arity     #=> 0
c.method(:two).arity     #=> 1
c.method(:three).arity   #=> -1
c.method(:four).arity    #=> 2
c.method(:five).arity    #=> -3
c.method(:six).arity     #=> -3
c.method(:seven).arity   #=> -3
c.method(:eight).arity   #=> 1
c.method(:nine).arity    #=> 1
c.method(:ten).arity     #=> -2

"cat".method(:size).arity      #=> 0
"cat".method(:replace).arity   #=> 1
"cat".method(:squeeze).arity   #=> -1
"cat".method(:count).arity     #=> -1

Bind umeth to obj. If Klass was the class from which umeth was obtained, obj.kind_of?(Klass) must be true.

class A
  def test
    puts "In test, class = #{self.class}"
class B < A
class C < B

um = B.instance_method(:test)
bm = um.bind(
bm = um.bind(
bm = um.bind(


In test, class = C
In test, class = B
prog.rb:16:in `bind': bind argument must be an instance of B (TypeError)
 from prog.rb:16

Bind umeth to recv and then invokes the method with the specified arguments. This is semantically equivalent to umeth.bind(recv).call(args, ...).

Returns a clone of this method.

class A
  def foo
    return "bar"

m = # => "bar"
n = # => "bar"

Returns a hash value corresponding to the method object.

See also Object#hash.

Returns a human-readable description of the underlying method.

"cat".method(:count).inspect   #=> "#<Method: String#count(*)>"
(1..3).method(:map).inspect    #=> "#<Method: Range(Enumerable)#map()>"

In the latter case, the method description includes the “owner” of the original method (Enumerable module, which is included into Range).

inspect also provides, when possible, method argument names (call sequence) and source location.

require 'net/http'
#=> "#<Method: Net::HTTP.get(uri_or_host, path=..., port=...) <skip>/lib/ruby/2.7.0/net/http.rb:457>"

... in argument definition means argument is optional (has some default value).

For methods defined in C (language core and extensions), location and argument names can’t be extracted, and only generic information is provided in form of * (any number of arguments) or _ (some positional argument).

"cat".method(:count).inspect   #=> "#<Method: String#count(*)>"
"cat".method(:+).inspect       #=> "#<Method: String#+(_)>""

Returns the name of the method.

Returns the original name of the method.

class C
  def foo; end
  alias bar foo
C.instance_method(:bar).original_name # => :foo

Returns the class or module on which this method is defined. In other words,

meth.owner.instance_methods(false).include?( # => true

holds as long as the method is not removed/undefined/replaced, (with private_instance_methods instead of instance_methods if the method is private).

See also Method#receiver.

(1..3).method(:map).owner #=> Enumerable

Returns the parameter information of this method.

def foo(bar); end
method(:foo).parameters #=> [[:req, :bar]]

def foo(bar, baz, bat, &blk); end
method(:foo).parameters #=> [[:req, :bar], [:req, :baz], [:req, :bat], [:block, :blk]]

def foo(bar, *args); end
method(:foo).parameters #=> [[:req, :bar], [:rest, :args]]

def foo(bar, baz, *args, &blk); end
method(:foo).parameters #=> [[:req, :bar], [:req, :baz], [:rest, :args], [:block, :blk]]

Returns whether the method is private.

Returns whether the method is protected.

Returns whether the method is public.

Returns the Ruby source filename and line number containing this method or nil if this method was not defined in Ruby (i.e. native).

Returns a Method of superclass which would be called when super is used or nil if there is no method on superclass.