Table of Contents

## Syntax and Description

`object.__ceil__(self)`

The Python `__ceil__()`

method implements the behavior of the `math.ceil()`

function. For example, if you attempt to call `math.ceil(x)`

, Python will run the `x.__ceil__()`

method to obtain the return value.

We call this a *“Dunder Method”* for *“ Double Underscore Method”* (also called

*“magic method”*). To get a list of all dunder methods with explanation, check out our dunder cheat sheet article on this blog.

## Example

The following code snippet overrides the `__ceil__()`

dunder method to return the “rounded up” age of a `Person`

when you pass an object of type `Person`

into the `math.ceil()`

function:

import math class Person: def __init__(self, age): self.age = age def __ceil__(self): floor_value = int(self.age) if floor_value < self.age: return floor_value + 1 return floor_value alice = Person(42.42424242) print(math.ceil(alice)) # 43 bob = Person(42.0) print(math.ceil(bob)) # 42

## How to fix “TypeError: must be real number, not XXX”?

Note that without defining the `__ceil__()`

method, Python would’ve raised a `TypeError`

:

import math class Person: def __init__(self, age): self.age = age alice = Person(42.42424242) print(math.ceil(alice))

Output:

Traceback (most recent call last): File "C:\Users\...\code.py", line 12, in <module> print(math.ceil(alice)) TypeError: must be real number, not Person

To fix this `TypeError`

, simply define the `__ceil__()`

method as outlined in the first code snippet in this article.

## Background

Next we will look at the ceil function `⌈⋅⌉`

. Just as the floor function is the real number `x`

rounded down, `⌈x⌉`

is just `x`

“rounded up”, i.e. the smallest integer greater than `x`

.

For instance, if `x=9.1`

, then the ceil of `x`

is just `10`

. On the other hand, if `x=−9.1`

, then the smallest integer greater than `x`

is `−9`

, so `⌈x⌉=−9`

. If `x`

is an integer, then its ceil is just itself.

If we phrase this in terms of the integer and fractional part from before, we get

You can see from the above discussion that if `x`

is not an integer, then `⌈x⌉=⌊x⌋+1`

You can read more in our full guide:

**References:**

## Where to Go From Here?

Enough theory. Let’s get some practice!

Coders get paid six figures and more because they can solve problems more effectively using machine intelligence and automation.

To become more successful in coding, solve more real problems for real people. That’s how you polish the skills you really need in practice. After all, what’s the use of learning theory that nobody ever needs?

**You build high-value coding skills by working on practical coding projects!**

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While working as a researcher in distributed systems, Dr. Christian Mayer found his love for teaching computer science students.

To help students reach higher levels of Python success, he founded the programming education website Finxter.com. He’s author of the popular programming book Python One-Liners (NoStarch 2020), coauthor of the Coffee Break Python series of self-published books, computer science enthusiast, freelancer, and owner of one of the top 10 largest Python blogs worldwide.

His passions are writing, reading, and coding. But his greatest passion is to serve aspiring coders through Finxter and help them to boost their skills. You can join his free email academy here.