Python delattr()

Python’s built-in delattr() function takes an object and an attribute name as arguments and removes the attribute from the object. The call delattr(object, 'attribute') is semantically identical to del object.attribute.

This article shows you how to use Python’s built-in delattr() function.

Usage

Learn by example! Here’s an example on how to use the delattr() built-in function.

Create a Car object with one attribute speed.

# Define class with one attribute
class Car:
    def __init__(self):
        self.speed = 100


# Create object
porsche = Car()

Print the attribute speed:

# What's the value for attribute speed?
print(porsche.speed)
# 100

Use delattr(porsche, speed) to remove the attribute speed from the object porsche.

# Remove the attribute speed from porsche
delattr(porsche, 'speed')

After removing the attribute, it cannot be accessed anymore:

# Does this still work?
print(porsche.speed)
# No:
'''
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "C:\Users\xcent\Desktop\Finxter\Blog\HowToConvertBooleanToStringPython\code.py", line 18, in <module>
    print(porsche.speed)
AttributeError: 'Car' object has no attribute 'speed'
'''

Syntax delattr()

The delattr() object has the following syntax:

Syntax: 
delattr(object, attribute)         # Removes attribute from object
ArgumentsobjectThe object from which the attribute should be removed
stringThe attribute to be removed
Return ValueNoneReturns Nothing. If the attribute doesn’t exist, the method does nothing.

Interactive Shell Exercise: Understanding delattr()

Consider the following interactive code:

Exercise: Does the code work? If yes, run it! If not, fix the bug!


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Python del vs delattr()

The alternative to Python’s built-in delattr() is to use the del keyword that is also built-in.

The delattr(object, 'attribute') is semantically identical to the del object.attribute call. Note that in the first case, the attribute is given as a string, while in the second case, the attribute is given as a normal attribute name.

# Define class with one attribute
class Car:
    def __init__(self):
        self.speed = 100


# Create object
porsche = Car()

# What's the value for attribute speed?
print(porsche.speed)

# Remove the attribute speed from porsche
del porsche.speed

# Does this still work?
print(porsche.speed)

The output is the same:

100
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "C:\Users\xcent\Desktop\Finxter\Blog\HowToConvertBooleanToStringPython\code.py", line 17, in <module>
    print(porsche.speed)
AttributeError: 'Car' object has no attribute 'speed'

Related Functions

  • The getattr() function returns the value of an attribute.
  • The setattr() function changes the value of an attribute.
  • The hasattr() function checks if an attribute exists.
  • The delattr() function deletes an existing attribute.

Summary

Python’s built-in delattr() function takes an object and an attribute name as arguments and removes the attribute from the object.


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