In this post, we will learn about what is lambda functions, syntax of the lambda function, uses of the lambda function, and more with examples and explanations so let’s start learning from the very basics.
What is Lambda Function?
Python lambda function is a small anonymous function without a name. It can take any number of arguments but only have one expression.
Lambda functions are often used as a shortcut for a function that is only used once.
Syntax of Lambda Function
A lambda function is defined using the
lambda keyword, followed by a list of arguments and a single expression. The syntax for a lambda function is as follows:
lambda arguments: expression
arguments is a comma-separated list of arguments and
expression is a single-line expression that is evaluated and returned by the lambda function.
For example, consider the following lambda function that adds two numbers:
add = lambda x, y: x + y result = add(10, 20) print(result)
This lambda function takes two arguments
y and returns their sum. We can use this lambda function just like any other function by calling it and passing the arguments.
Example for Practice of Lambda Function
Example-1: Define a lambda function that calculates the square of a number
# Define a lambda function that calculates the square of a number square = lambda x: x**2 # Call the lambda function and print the result print(square(5)) print(square(10))
Example-2: Define a lambda function that calculates the factorial of a number
# Define a lambda function that calculates the factorial of a number factorial = lambda n: 1 if n == 0 else n * factorial(n - 1) # Call the lambda function and print the result print(factorial(5)) print(factorial(10))
Uses of Lambda Function
Generally, Lambda functions are used with higher-order functions such as
reduce. These functions take a function as an argument and apply it to a sequence of elements.
Example of Lambda Function with map()
consider the following code that uses the
map function to apply the lambda function to a list of numbers:
numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] squares = map(lambda x: x**2, numbers) print(list(squares))
|[1, 4, 9, 16, 25]|
map function applies the lambda function
lambda x: x**2 to each element of the
numbers list and returns a new list of squared numbers.
Example of Lambda Function with filter()
We can also use lambda functions with the
filter function to select elements that satisfy a certain condition. For example:
numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10] evens = filter(lambda x: x % 2 == 0, numbers) print(list(evens))
|[2, 4, 6, 8, 10]|
In this case, the
filter function applies the lambda function
lambda x: x % 2 == 0 to each element of the
numbers list and returns a new list containing only the even numbers.
Example of Lambda Function with reduce()
we can use the
reduce function from the
functools module to perform a reduction operation on a sequence of elements. For example:
from functools import reduce numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] product = reduce(lambda x, y: x * y, numbers) print(product)
In this case, the
reduce function applies the lambda function
lambda x, y: x * y to the elements of the
numbers list in a cumulative manner, starting with the first two elements and then the result of that operation and the next element, and so on. The final result is the product of all the elements in the list.
Example of Lambda Function with sorted()
# Define a list of tuples representing students and their grades students = [('Alice', 90), ('Bob', 80), ('Charlie', 70), ('David', 60), ('Eve', 50)] # Sort the list of students by their grades using a lambda function as the key sorted_students = sorted(students, key=lambda student: student) # Print the result print(sorted_students)
|[(‘Eve’, 50), (‘David’, 60), (‘Charlie’, 70), (‘Bob’, 80), (‘Alice’, 90)]|
In this example, we define a list of tuples representing students and their grades and then use the
sorted function to sort the list of students by their grades.
We pass a lambda function as the
key argument to the
sorted function that takes a single argument
student and returns the grade of the student. The
sorted function uses this lambda function to determine the sort order of the students.
That’s all I hope this article has helped you understand Python Lambda functions.
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