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What it is to be 'a lambda' isn't particularly well-defined. If we define it to mean an anonymous closure then Java certainly has them — so long as its free variables are final (it closes over references). On the other hand, if we define it as the operator which creates anonymous closures, then Java doesn't, because you have to actually build the closure by hand.

Since the former have a proper name (closures) and the latter doesn't, I'd be inclined to call only the operator a 'lambda'. But since you can at least 'approximate' closures in Java (with anonymous inner classes), I think it's fair to say that they are "very verbose and awkward lambdas", to some definition of lambda.

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