Preprocessor definitions for compiling a target’s sources.

The COMPILE_DEFINITIONS property may be set to a semicolon-separated list of preprocessor definitions using the syntax VAR or VAR=value. Function-style definitions are not supported. CMake will automatically escape the value correctly for the native build system (note that CMake language syntax may require escapes to specify some values).

CMake will automatically drop some definitions that are not supported by the native build tool. The VS6 IDE does not support definition values with spaces (but NMake does).

Disclaimer: Most native build tools have poor support for escaping certain values. CMake has work-arounds for many cases but some values may just not be possible to pass correctly. If a value does not seem to be escaped correctly, do not attempt to work-around the problem by adding escape sequences to the value. Your work-around may break in a future version of CMake that has improved escape support. Instead consider defining the macro in a (configured) header file. Then report the limitation. Known limitations include:

#          - broken almost everywhere
;          - broken in VS IDE 7.0 and Borland Makefiles
,          - broken in VS IDE
%          - broken in some cases in NMake
& |        - broken in some cases on MinGW
^ < > \"   - broken in most Make tools on Windows

CMake does not reject these values outright because they do work in some cases. Use with caution.

Contents of COMPILE_DEFINITIONS may use “generator expressions” with the syntax $<...>. See the cmake-generator-expressions(7) manual for available expressions. See the cmake-buildsystem(7) manual for more on defining buildsystem properties.

The corresponding COMPILE_DEFINITIONS_<CONFIG> property may be set to specify per-configuration definitions. Generator expressions should be preferred instead of setting the alternative property.