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Python – max() function
  • Last Updated : 13 Aug, 2020

The max() function returns the largest item in an iterable or the largest of two or more arguments. It has two forms.

  • max() function with objects
  • max() function with iterable

max() function with objects

Unlike the max() function of C/C++, the max() function in Python can take any type of object and returns the largest among them. In the case of strings, it returns the lexicographically largest value.

Syntax : max(arg1, arg2, *args[, key])
Parameters :

  • arg1, arg2 : objects of the same datatype
  • *args : multiple objects
  • key : function where comparison of iterable is performed based on its return value

Returns : The maximum value

Example 1 : Finding the maximum of 3 integer variables.






var1 = 4
var2 = 8
var3 = 2
  
max_val = max(var1, var2, var3)
print(max_val)

Output :

8

Example 2 : Finding the maximum of 3 string variables. By default it will return the string with the maximum lexographic value.




var1 = "geeks"
var2 = "for"
var3 = "geek"
  
max_val = max(var1, var2, var3)
print(max_val)

Output :

for

Example 3 : Finding the maximum of 3 string variables according to the length. We will be passing a key function in the max() method.




var1 = "geeks"
var2 = "for"
var3 = "geek"
  
max_val = max(var1, var2, var3,
              key = len)
print(max_val)

Output :

geeks

Example 4 : If we pass parameters of different datatypes, then a exception will be raised.




integer = 5
string = "geek"
  
max_val = max(integer, string)
print(max_val)

Output :

TypeError: '>' not supported between instances of 'str' and 'int'

max() function with iterable

When an iterable is passed to the max() function it returns the largest item of the iterable.



Syntax : max(iterable, *iterables[, key, default])
Parameters :

  • iterable : iterable object like list or string.
  • *iterables : multiple iterables
  • key : function where comparison of iterable is performed based on its return value
  • default : value if the iterable is empty

Returns : The maximum value.

Example 1 : Finding the lexographically maximum character in a string.




string = "GeeksforGeeks"
  
max_val = max(string)
print(max_val)

Output :

s

Example 2 : Finding the lexographically maximum string in a string list.




string_list = ["Geeks", "for", "Geeks"]
  
max_val = max(string_list)
print(max_val)

Output :

for

Example 3 : Finding the longest string in a string list.




string_list = ["Geeks", "for", "Geek"]
  
max_val = max(string_list, key = len)
print(max_val)

Output :

Geeks

Example 4 : If the iterable is empty, the default value will be displayed.




dictionary = {}
  
max_val = max(dictionary,
              default = {1 : "Geek"})
print(max_val)

Output :

{1: 'Geek'}

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