Python Create Dictionary – The Ultimate Guide

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Introduction to Python Dictionaries

A Python dictionary is a built-in data structure that allows you to store data in the form of key-value pairs. It offers an efficient way to organize and access your data.

In Python, creating a dictionary is easy. You can use the dict() function or simply use curly braces {} to define an empty dictionary.

For example:

my_dictionary = {}

This will create an empty dictionary called my_dictionary. To add data to the dictionary, you can use the following syntax:

my_dictionary = {
    "key1": "value1",
    "key2": "value2"

In this case, "key1" and "key2" are the keys, while "value1" and "value2" are the corresponding values. Remember that the keys must be unique, as duplicate keys are not allowed in Python dictionaries.

One of the reasons why dictionaries are important in programming projects is their efficient access and manipulation of data. When you need to retrieve a value, simply provide the corresponding key:

value = my_dictionary["key1"]

This will return the value associated with "key1", in this case, "value1". If the key does not exist in the dictionary, Python will raise a KeyError.

Dictionaries also support various methods for managing the data, such as updating the values, deleting keys, or iterating through the key-value pairs.

Basic Dictionary Creation

In this section, we will discuss the basic methods of creating dictionaries.

To create an empty dictionary, you can use a pair of curly braces, {}. This will initialize an empty dictionary with no elements. For example:

empty_dict = {}

Another method to create an empty dictionary is using the dict() function:

another_empty_dict = dict()

Once you have an empty dictionary, you can start populating it with key-value pairs. To add elements to your dictionary, use the assignment operator = and square brackets [] around the key:

# Creating an empty dictionary
my_dict = {}  

# Adding a key-value pair for "apple" and "fruit"
my_dict["apple"] = "fruit" 

Alternatively, you can define key-value pairs directly in the dictionary using the curly braces {} method. In this case, each key is separated from its corresponding value by a colon :, and the key-value pairs are separated by commas ,:

fruits_dict = {
    "apple": "fruit",
    "banana": "fruit",
    "carrot": "vegetable",

The dict() function can also be used to create a dictionary by passing a list of tuples, where each tuple is a key-value pair:

fruits_list = [("apple", "fruit"), ("banana", "fruit"), ("carrot", "vegetable")]
fruits_dict = dict(fruits_list)

Creating Dictionaries from Lists and Arrays

Python Create Dict From List

To create a dictionary from a list, first make sure that the list contains mutable pairs of keys and values. One way to achieve this is by using the zip() function. The zip() function allows you to combine two lists into a single list of pairs.

For example:

keys = ['a', 'b', 'c']
values = [1, 2, 3]
combined_list = zip(keys, values)

Next, use the dict() function to convert the combined list into a dictionary:

dictionary = dict(combined_list)
print(dictionary)  # Output: {'a': 1, 'b': 2, 'c': 3}

Python Create Dict From Two Lists

To create a dictionary from two separate lists, you can utilize the zip() function along with a dictionary comprehension. This method allows you to easily iterate through the lists and create key-value pairs simultaneously:

keys = ['a', 'b', 'c']
values = [1, 2, 3]
dictionary = {key: value for key, value in zip(keys, values)}
print(dictionary)  # Output: {'a': 1, 'b': 2, 'c': 3}

The How to Create a Dictionary from two Lists post provides a detailed explanation of this process.

Python Create Dict From List Comprehension

List comprehension is a powerful feature in Python that allows you to create a new list by applying an expression to each element in an existing list or other iterable data types. You can also use list comprehension to create a dictionary:

keys = ['a', 'b', 'c']
values = [1, 2, 3]
dictionary = {keys[i]: values[i] for i in range(len(keys))}
print(dictionary)  # Output: {'a': 1, 'b': 2, 'c': 3}

Python Create Dict From List in One Line

To create a dictionary from a list in just one line of code, you can use the zip() function and the dict() function:

keys = ['a', 'b', 'c']
values = [1, 2, 3]
dictionary = dict(zip(keys, values))
print(dictionary)  # Output: {'a': 1, 'b': 2, 'c': 3}
Python Dictionary Comprehension - A Powerful One-Liner Tutorial

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Python Create Dict From a List of Tuples

If you have a list of tuples, where each tuple represents a key-value pair, you can create a dictionary using the dict() function directly:

list_of_tuples = [('a', 1), ('b', 2), ('c', 3)]
dictionary = dict(list_of_tuples)
print(dictionary)  # Output: {'a': 1, 'b': 2, 'c': 3}

Python Create Dict From Array

To create a dictionary from an array or any sequence data type, first convert it into a list of tuples, where each tuple represents a key-value pair. Then, use the dict() function to create the dictionary:

import numpy as np

array = np.array([['a', 1], ['b', 2], ['c', 3]])
list_of_tuples = [tuple(row) for row in array]
dictionary = dict(list_of_tuples)
print(dictionary)  # Output: {'a': '1', 'b': '2', 'c': '3'}

Note that the values in this example are strings because the NumPy array stores them as a single data type. You can later convert these strings back to integers if needed.

Creating Dictionaries from Strings and Enumerations

Python Create Dict From String

To create a dictionary from a string, you can use a combination of string manipulation and dictionary comprehension. This method allows you to extract key-value pairs from the given string, and subsequently populate the dictionary.

The following example demonstrates how to create a dictionary from a string:

input_string = "name=John Doe, age=25, city=New York"
string_list = input_string.split(", ")

dictionary = {item.split("=")[0]: item.split("=")[1] for item in string_list}


{'name': 'John Doe', 'age': '25', 'city': 'New York'}

In this example, the input string is split into a list of smaller strings using , as the separator. Then, a dictionary comprehension is used to split each pair by the = sign, creating the key-value pairs.

Python Create Dict from Enumerate

The enumerate() function can also be used to create a dictionary. This function allows you to create key-value pairs, where the key is the index of a list item, and the value is the item itself.

Here is an example of using enumerate() to create a dictionary:

input_list = ["apple", "banana", "orange"]
dictionary = {index: item for index, item in enumerate(input_list)}


{0: 'apple', 1: 'banana', 2: 'orange'}

In this example, the enumerate() function is used in a dictionary comprehension to create key-value pairs with the index as the key and the list item as the value.

Python Create Dict From Enum

Python includes an Enum class, which can be used to create enumerations. Enumerations are a way to define named constants that have a specific set of values. To create a dictionary from an enumeration, you can loop through the enumeration and build key-value pairs.

Here’s an example of creating a dictionary from an enumeration:

from enum import Enum

class Color(Enum):
    RED = 1
    GREEN = 2
    BLUE = 3

dictionary = { color.value for color in Color}


{'RED': 1, 'GREEN': 2, 'BLUE': 3}

In this example, an enumeration called Color is defined and then used in a dictionary comprehension to create key-value pairs with the color name as the key and the color value as the value.

When working with dictionaries in Python, it’s essential to be aware of potential KeyError exceptions that can occur when trying to access an undefined key in a dictionary. This can be handled using the dict.get() method, which returns a specified default value if the requested key is not found.

Also, updating the dictionary’s key-value pairs is a simple process using the assignment operator, which allows you to either add a new entry to the dictionary or update the value for an existing key.

Creating Dictionaries from Other Dictionaries

In this section, you’ll learn how to create new dictionaries from existing ones. We’ll cover how to create a single dictionary from another one, create one from two separate dictionaries, create one from multiple dictionaries, and finally, create one from a nested dictionary.

Python Create Dict From Another Dict

To create a new dictionary from an existing one, you can use a dictionary comprehension. The following code snippet creates a new dictionary with keys and values from the old one, in the same order.

old_dict = {'a': 1, 'b': 2, 'c': 3}
new_dict = {k: v for k, v in old_dict.items()}

If you want to modify the keys or values in the new dictionary, simply apply the modifications within the comprehension:

new_dict_modified = {k * 2: v for k, v in old_dict.items()}

Python Create Dict From Two Dicts

Suppose you want to combine two dictionaries into one. You can do this using the update() method or union operator |. The update() method can add or modify the keys from the second dictionary in the first one.

Here’s an example:

dict1 = {'a': 1, 'b': 2}
dict2 = {'b': 3, 'c': 4}

If you’re using Python 3.9 or later, you can utilize the union operator | to combine two dictionaries:

combined_dict = dict1 | dict2

Keep in mind that in case of overlapping keys, the values from the second dictionary will take precedence.

πŸ’« Master Tip: Python Create Dict From Multiple Dicts

If you want to combine multiple dictionaries into one, you can use the ** unpacking operator in a new dictionary:

dict1 = {'a': 1, 'b': 2}
dict2 = {'b': 3, 'c': 4}
dict3 = {'d': 5}

combined_dict = {**dict1, **dict2, **dict3}

The combined_dict will contain all the keys and values from dict1, dict2, and dict3. In case of overlapping keys, the values from later dictionaries will replace those from the earlier ones.

Python Create Dict From Nested Dict

When working with a nested dictionary, you might want to create a new dictionary from a sub-dictionary. To do this, use the key to access the nested dictionary, and then make a new dictionary from the sub-dictionary:

nested_dict = {'a': {'x': 1, 'y': 2}, 'b': {'z': 3}}
sub_dict = nested_dict['a']
new_dict = {k: v for k, v in sub_dict.items()}

In the code above, the new_dict will be created from the sub-dictionary with the key 'a'.

Creating Dictionaries from Files and Data Formats

In this section, we will explore ways to create Python dictionaries from various file formats and data structures. We will cover the following topics:

Python Create Dict From CSV

Creating a dictionary from a CSV file can be achieved using Python’s built-in csv module. First, open the CSV file with a with statement and then use csv.DictReader to iterate over the rows, creating a dictionary object for each row:

import csv

with open('input.csv', 'r') as csvfile:
    reader = csv.DictReader(csvfile)

    my_dict = {}
    for row in reader:
        key = row['key_column']
        my_dict[key] = row

Python Create Dict From Dataframe

When working with Pandas DataFrames, you can generate a dictionary from the underlying data using the to_dict() method:

import pandas as pd

df = pd.read_csv('input.csv')

my_dict = df.set_index('key_column').to_dict('index')

This will create a dictionary where the DataFrame index is set as keys and the remaining data as values.

Python Create Dict From Dataframe Columns

To create a dictionary from specific DataFrame columns, use the zip function and the to_dict() method:

my_dict = dict(zip(df['key_column'], df['value_column']))

Python Create Dict From Excel

Openpyxl is a Python library that helps you work with Excel (.xlsx) files. Use it to read the file, iterate through the rows, and add the data to a dictionary:

import openpyxl

workbook = openpyxl.load_workbook('input.xlsx')
sheet =

my_dict = {}
for row in range(2, sheet.max_row + 1):
    key = sheet.cell(row=row, column=1).value
    value = sheet.cell(row=row, column=2).value
    my_dict[key] = value

Python Create Dict From YAML File

To create a dictionary from a YAML file, you can use the PyYAML library. Install it using pip install PyYAML. Then read the YAML file and convert it into a dictionary object:

import yaml

with open('input.yaml', 'r') as yaml_file:
    my_dict = yaml.safe_load(yaml_file)

Python Create Dict From Json File

To generate a dictionary from a JSON file, use Python’s built-in json module to read the file and decode the JSON data:

import json

with open('input.json', 'r') as json_file:
    my_dict = json.load(json_file)

Python Create Dict From Text File

To create a dictionary from a text file, you can read its contents and use some custom logic to parse the keys and values:

with open('input.txt', 'r') as text_file:
    lines = text_file.readlines()

my_dict = {}
for line in lines:
    key, value = line.strip().split(':')
    my_dict[key] = value

Modify the parsing logic according to the format of your input text file. This will ensure you correctly store the data as keys and values in your dictionary.

Advanced Dictionary Creation Methods

Python Create Dict From Variables

You can create a dictionary from variables using the dict() function. This helps when you have separate variables for keys and values. For example:

key1 = "a"
value1 = 1
key2 = "b"
value2 = 2

my_dict = dict([(key1, value1), (key2, value2)])

Python Create Dict From Arguments

Another way to create dictionaries is by using the **kwargs feature in Python. This allows you to pass keyword arguments to a function and create a dictionary from them. For example:

def create_dict(**kwargs):
    return kwargs

my_dict = create_dict(a=1, b=2, c=3)

Python Create Dict From Iterator

You can also create a dictionary by iterating over a list and using list comprehensions, along with the get() method. This is useful if you need to count occurrences of certain elements:

my_list = ['a', 'b', 'a', 'c', 'b']
my_dict = {}

for item in my_list:
    my_dict[item] = my_dict.get(item, 0) + 1

Python Create Dict From User Input

To create a dictionary from user input, you can use a for loop. Prompt users to provide input and create the dictionary with the key-value pairs they provide:

my_dict = {}

for i in range(3):
    key = input("Enter key: ")
    value = input("Enter value: ")
    my_dict[key] = value

Python Create Dict From Object

You can create a dictionary from an object’s attributes using the built-in vars() function. This is helpful when converting an object to a dictionary. For example:

class MyObject:
    def __init__(self, a, b, c):
        self.a = a
        self.b = b
        self.c = c

my_obj = MyObject(1, 2, 3)
my_dict = vars(my_obj)

Python Create Dict Zip

Lastly, you can create a dictionary using the zip() function and the dict() constructor. This is useful when you have two lists β€” one representing keys and the other representing values:

keys = ['a', 'b', 'c']
values = [1, 2, 3]

my_dict = dict(zip(keys, values))

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you create an empty dictionary in Python?

To create an empty dictionary in Python, you can use either a set of curly braces {} or the built-in dict() function. Here are examples of both methods:

empty_dict1 = {}
empty_dict2 = dict()

What are common ways to create a dictionary from two lists?

To create a dictionary from two lists, you can use the zip function in combination with the dict() constructor. Here’s an example:

keys = ['a', 'b', 'c']
values = [1, 2, 3]
my_dict = dict(zip(keys, values))

In this example, my_dict will be {'a': 1, 'b': 2, 'c': 3}.

What are the key dictionary methods in Python?

Some common dictionary methods in Python include:

  • get(key, default): Returns the value associated with the key if it exists; otherwise, returns the default value.
  • update(other): Merges the current dictionary with another dictionary or other key-value pairs.
  • keys(): Returns a view object displaying all the keys in the dictionary.
  • values(): Returns a view object displaying all the values in the dictionary.
  • items(): Returns a view object displaying all the key-value pairs in the dictionary.

How do I create a dictionary if it does not exist?

You can use a conditional statement along with the globals() function to create a dictionary if it does not exist. Here’s an example:

if 'my_dict' not in globals():
    my_dict = {'a': 1, 'b': 2, 'c': 3}

In this case, my_dict will only be created if it does not already exist in the global namespace.

How can I loop through a dictionary in Python?

You can loop through a dictionary in Python using the items() method, which returns key-value pairs. Here’s an example:

my_dict = {'a': 1, 'b': 2, 'c': 3}

for key, value in my_dict.items():
    print(f'{key}: {value}')

This code will output:

a: 1
b: 2
c: 3

What is an example of a dictionary in Python?

A dictionary in Python is a collection of key-value pairs enclosed in curly braces. Here’s an example:

my_dict = {
    'apple': 3,
    'banana': 2,
    'orange': 4

In this example, the keys are fruit names, and the values are quantities.

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