Cedille is an interactive theorem-prover and dependently typed programming language, based on extrinsic (aka Curry-style) type theory. This makes it rather different from type theories like Coq and Agda, which are intrinsic (aka Church-style). In Cedille, terms are nothing more than annotated versions of terms of pure untyped lambda calculus. In contrast, in Coq or Agda, the typing annotations are intrinsic parts of terms. The typing annotations can only be erased as an optimization under certain conditions, not by virtue of the definition of the type theory.

Cedille’s type theory allows one to derive inductive datatypes, together with their induction principles. These derivations are done via lambda-encodings, including not just the familiar Church encoding (with its well-known limitation to inefficient accessors), but also more efficient Parigot and Mendler encodings. Further, Cedille supports datatype declarations and pattern-matching recursion via elaboration to certain of these encodings.

Cedille is used from an emacs mode, which communicates with the backend tool. The emacs mode supports convenient navigation of the source text following the structure of its syntax tree. Typing and context information is available for all subexpressions as one navigates, as well as information related to type inference. Cedille implements a novel form of local type inference called spine-local type inference. At the moment this is restricted to solving for first-order type variables, but in the coming 2018-2019 academic year we plan to add support for inferring values for term variables as well as dependent and higher-order type variables.


The Cedille compiler is currently maintained at github.com/cedille/cedille, and you can download current and past releases on the github release page.

The Cedille version numbers are of the form X.Y.Z. The first number conveys the “major” version, which changes upon an introduction of a major new feature. The second number conveys the “minor” version, which changes by introduction of significant new features that are relatively backwards compatible. Finally, the third number conveys the “patch” version, which just changes for bug fixes.


To install a pre-built binary, see the github release page.

Alternatively, to build Cedille yourself, please consult the building guide.

To use Cedille, we believe you will need emacs version 24.5.1 or higher (we have tested on emacs 25.3.2). (It is possible it will run on earlier versions of emacs, but we have not tested this.) It will also run in spacemacs, version 0.200.13 @ 25.3.50 (disable evil-escape-key-sequence, or rebind).

After installing Cedille, make sure to add (require 'cedille-mode) to your .emacs file. When you open a Cedille source file (e.g. lib/bool.ced), Emacs will load “Cedille” mode. Now you can type M-s to enter Cedille navigation mode. See the “Commands” section of the documentation for more information.


The view the documentation for using Cedille please visit this page. This information is also available as a .info file at docs/info/cedille-info-main.info. You can also always access the documentation for your installed version of Cedille directly from within Emacs: while in Cedille mode, enter Cedille navigation mode by pressing M-s and then press h. This will bring up the info file within Emacs.

To see some helpful examples of Cedille programs, please take a look at the language overview page

To watch tutorial videos on programming in Cedille, see the Cedille channel on YouTube, with accompanying code on GitHub

To see the documentation of the development version of Cedille, please visit this page.

Consult this document to learn more about the underlying theory that powers Cedille.


See the Cedille developments repository for larger examples of using Cedille, which includes the accompanying code for papers on generic induction (CPP’18), efficient Mendler-style encodings (ITP’18), and generic reuse (ICFP’18).


To join the Cedille user mailing list, please visit our google groups page.