Python __rdiv__ Magic Method

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The Python __rdiv__() magic method overrides the reverse division operation for a custom object in Python 2. In Python 3, it was replaced by the __rtruediv__() and __rfloordiv__() dunder methods.

  • The Python __rtruediv__() method is called to implement the normal division operation / called true division and apply it in reverse.
  • The Python __rfloordiv__() method implements the reverse integer division operation.


object.__rdiv__(self, other)

The __rdiv__() method implements the reverse true division operation in Python 2 with reflected, swapped operands. So, when you call x / y, Python attempts to call x.__div__(y). If the method is not implemented, Python attempts to call __rdiv__ on the right operand and if this isn’t implemented either, it raises a TypeError.

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.


To override the reverse division operator in Python 2, define the __rdiv__ method in the class. Python will then call it on the second operand as a backup if the __div__ method is not defined for the first operand.

# Works for Python 2 Only:
class Data:
    def __rdiv__(self, other):
        return '... my result of rdiv...'

a = Data()
b = Data()
c = a / b

# ... my result of rdiv...

If you want the same example in Python 3, read on!

Background Reverse True Division Python 3

The Python __rtruediv__() method is called to implement the normal division operation / called true division—as opposed to the floor division operation //.

For example to evaluate the expression x / y, Python attempts to call x.__truediv__(y).

In the following example, you create a custom class Data and overwrite the __truediv__() method so that it returns a dummy string when trying to divide two Data objects using the true division operation a / b.

class Data:
    def __rtruediv__(self, other):
        return '... my result of rtruediv...'

a = Data()
b = Data()
c = a / b

# ... my result of rtruediv...

To understand this operation in detail, feel free to read over our tutorial or watch the following video:

Python Division Deep Dive


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