Python max() — A Simple Illustrated Guide

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The max() function returns the maximum of the provided arguments. You can pass either an arbitrary number of values, comma-separated, or an iterable as arguments. An optional key function argument allows you to customize the calculation of the maximum by explicitly defining the weight of each value in the iterable that is used as a basis of comparison.

Here’s an example:

>>> max(1, 2, 3)
3
>>> max(1, 2, 3, key = lambda x: -x)
1
Python max()

Syntax max()

Syntax: 
max(iterable, *[, key, default])
max(arg1, arg2, *args[, key])
ArgumentiterableAn iterable of elements.
Argumentarg1, arg2, *argsAt least two arguments —but more are allowed.
ArgumentkeyKey function that associates a numerical value to each element that is used as the basis of comparison.
Return ValueobjectReturns the maximum element from the arguments

Return Value max()

The max() function returns the maximum among at least two arguments.

>>> max(1, 2, 3)
3

Summary

The max() function returns the maximum of the provided arguments.

>>> max(1, 2, 3)
3
  • You can pass either an arbitrary number of values, comma-separated (see before), or
  • An iterable as arguments (see next).
>>> max([1, 2, 3])
3

An optional key function argument allows you to customize the calculation of the maximum by explicitly defining the weight of each value in the iterable that is used as a basis of comparison.

>>> max([1, 2, 3], key = lambda x: -x)
1

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