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Passing function as an argument in Python

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  • Difficulty Level : Medium
  • Last Updated : 26 Aug, 2020
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A function can take multiple arguments, these arguments can be objects, variables(of same or different data types) and functions. Python functions are first class objects. In the example below, a function is assigned to a variable. This assignment doesn’t call the function. It takes the function object referenced by shout and creates a second name pointing to it, yell.

# Python program to illustrate functions 
# can be treated as objects 
def shout(text): 
    return text.upper() 
yell = shout 



Higher Order Functions

Because functions are objects we can pass them as arguments to other functions. Functions that can accept other functions as arguments are also called higher-order functions. In the example below, a function greet is created which takes a function as an argument.

# Python program to illustrate functions 
# can be passed as arguments to other functions 
def shout(text): 
    return text.upper() 
def whisper(text): 
    return text.lower() 
def greet(func): 
    # storing the function in a variable 
    greeting = func("Hi, I am created by a function passed as an argument."


hi, i am created by a function passed as an argument.

Wrapper function

Wrapper function or decorator allows us to wrap another function in order to extend the behavior of the wrapped function, without permanently modifying it. In Decorators, functions are taken as the argument into another function and then called inside the wrapper function. To know more about decorator click here.

Below is the example of a simple decorator.

# defining a decorator 
def hello_decorator(func): 
    # inner1 is a Wrapper function in  
    # which the argument is called 
    # inner function can access the outer local 
    # functions like in this case "func" 
    def inner1(): 
        print("Hello, this is before function execution"
        # calling the actual function now 
        # inside the wrapper function. 
        print("This is after function execution"
    return inner1 
# defining a function, to be called inside wrapper 
def function_to_be_used(): 
    print("This is inside the function !!"
# passing 'function_to_be_used' inside the 
# decorator to control its behavior 
function_to_be_used = hello_decorator(function_to_be_used) 
# calling the function 


Hello, this is before function execution
This is inside the function !!
This is after function execution

Lambda wrapper function

In Python, anonymous function means that a function is without a name. As we already know that def keyword is used to define the normal functions and the lambda keyword is used to create anonymous functions. This function can have any number of arguments but only one expression, which is evaluated and returned. Lambda function can also have another function as an argument. The below example shows a basic lambda function where another lambda function is passed as an argument.

# Defining lambda function
square = lambda x:x * x
# Defining lambda function
# and passing function as an argument
cube = lambda func:func**3
print("square of 2 is :"+str(square(2)))
print("\nThe cube of "+str(square(2))+" is " +str(cube(square(2))))


square of 2 is :4

The cube of 4 is 64

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