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Python supports object-oriented programming and has a concise, readable, and easy-to-learn syntax. It is no wonder that it is one of the most popular programming languages. An integral part of Python are its built-in functions.
We've written a series of articles to help you learn and brush up on the most useful Python functions. In this article, we’ll learn about Python's min() function and how to use it.
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In this article, we’ll cover:
In Python, the min() function returns the minimum value in an iterable or out of two or more given values. It can be used in two forms: with objects or with iterables. Unlike min() in C/C++, in Python, min() can take in any type of objects and return the largest object.
The function that will form the basis for our minimum value calculation can also be specified. For example, we can evaluate the min value of strings based on lexicography, string length, etc. For strings, it by default returns the lexicographically smallest character.
However, we can specify the basis of min calculation to be another function like “len” for string length. Finally, when we pass an iterable to min() in Python, it returns the smallest item in the iterable.
Let us look at the syntax for the Python min() function when used with objects and when used with iterables:
Here, we take a look at how to use the min() function in Python in the context of the data structure list, dictionary, string, or integer next time you need it:
Note: If the objects you pass as arguments (or the items in the iterable) are of different types, you’ll receive a TypeError. (For example, min(integer, string), where integer and string are values of two different types, will result in the output: TypeError: '>' not supported between instances of 'str' and 'int')
Found this article helpful? You can learn about more Python functions in our learn folder.
Q1. How do you find the minimum element in a container in Python?
You can find the smallest element in a container in Python by using the min() function.
Q2. What is the use of the max() and min() functions in Python?
We use Python's max() and min() functions to get the maximum or minimum object out of a set of objects or max/min object out of objects in a given iterable.
Q3. What is the difference between the Python max() and min() functions?
Both compare items or items within an iterable on some basis and return a value. But the max() function in Python returns the max value after those comparisons, and the min() function returns the minimum value.
Q4. Is min() an in-built function in Python?
Yes, min() is an in-built function in Python.
Q5. What value does the Python min() function return?
The Python min() function returns the object with the minimum value for the function that’s the basis of evaluation.
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