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Python program to find the smallest word in a sentence
  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 16 Feb, 2021

Given a string S of lowercase English alphabets, the task is to print the smallest word in the given string.


Input: S = “sky is blue”
Output: “is”
Length of “sky” is 3.
Length of is “is” 2.
Length of “blue” is 4.
Therefore, the smallest word is “is”.

Input: S = “geeks for geeks”
Output: “for”

Searching-based Approach: Refer to this article to solve this problem by performing the following steps:

  • Iterate over the characters of the string.
  • Check if the current character encountered is a space or end of the string is reached.
  • If the current character is found to be so, update the maximum length of a word obtained.
  • Finally, print the longest word obtained using substr() method.

Time Complexity: O(N), where N is the length of the string.
Auxiliary Space: O(1)

Approach using sorted() method: The idea is to split the words of the string into a list and sort the list in increasing order of length of words using the sorted() method. Finally, print the first string present in the list.

Below is the implementation of the above approach:


# Python3 program for the above approach
# Function to print the
# smallest word in the string s
def smallestWord(s):
    # Using sorted() method
    s = sorted(s, key = len)
    # Print first word
# Driver Code
if __name__ == "__main__":
    # Given string
    s = "sky is blue"
    # Convert string to list
    l = list(s.split(" "))

Time Complexity: O(N * LogN)
Auxiliary Space: O(1)

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