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An exception is an occurrence in an application process that requires deviation from the program's normal flow.

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There are some great answers here, but I think one important reason has not been emphasized enough: When exceptions occur, objects can be left in invalid states. If you can "catch" an exception, then … correctly, it greatly complicates the process of implementing the container. So some modern languages have decided it is not worth it. Rust, for example, does have exceptions, but they cannot be "caught," so there is no way for code to interact with objects in an invalid state. …
answered Feb 12 '15 by Charlie Flowers