C++ FAQ Celebrating Twenty-One Years of the C++ FAQ!!!
(Click here for a personal note from Marshall Cline.)
Section 16:
16.1 Does delete p delete the pointer p, or the pointed-to-data *p?
16.2 Is it safe to delete the same pointer twice?
16.3 Can I free() pointers allocated with new? Can I delete pointers allocated with malloc()?
16.4 Benefits of new over malloc()?
16.5 Can I use realloc() on pointers allocated via new?
16.6 Checking for NULL after p = new Fred()?
16.7 How can I convince my (older) compiler to automatically check new to see if it returns NULL?
16.8 Checking for NULL before delete p?
16.9 What are the two steps that happen when I say delete p?
16.10 Does p = new Fred() leak memory if the ctor throws an exception?
16.11 How do I allocate / unallocate an array of things?
16.12 What if I forget the [] when deleteing an array allocated via new T[n]?
16.13 Can I drop the [] when deleteing an array of some built-in type (char, int, etc)?
16.14 After p = new Fred[n], how does the compiler know there are n objects to be destructed during delete[] p?
16.15 Is it legal (and moral) for a member function to say delete this?
16.16 How do I allocate multidimensional arrays using new?
16.17 How to simplify the Matrix code from the previous FAQ?
16.18 How to make the Matrix class generic?
16.19 What's another way to build a Matrix template?
16.20 Does C++ have arrays whose length can be specified at run-time?
16.21 Allocating all objects via new, not local/global/static?
16.22 How do I do simple reference counting?
16.23 How do I provide reference counting with copy-on-write semantics?
16.24 How do I provide reference counting with copy-on-write semantics for a hierarchy of classes?
16.25 Preventing people from subverting the reference counting mechanism?
16.26 Can I use a garbage collector in C++?
16.27 What are the two kinds of garbage collectors for C++?
16.28 Where can I get more info on garbage collectors for C++?
[16.20] Does C++ have arrays whose length can be specified at run-time?

Yes, in the sense that the standard library has a std::vector template that provides this behavior.

No, in the sense that built-in array types need to have their length specified at compile time.

Yes, in the sense that even built-in array types can specify the first index bounds at run-time. E.g., comparing with the previous FAQ, if you only need the first array dimension to vary then you can just ask new for an array of arrays, rather than an array of pointers to arrays:

const unsigned ncols = 100;           // ncols = number of columns in the array

class Fred { /*...*/ };

void manipulateArray(unsigned nrows)  // nrows = number of rows in the array
  Fred (*matrix)[ncols] = new Fred[nrows][ncols];
  delete[] matrix;
You can't do this if you need anything other than the first dimension of the array to change at run-time.

But please, don't use arrays unless you have to. Arrays are evil. Use some object of some class if you can. Use arrays only when you have to.