Is Dict a Data Type?


Larry Thompson

Is Dict a Data Type?

In Python, a dictionary is a built-in data type that allows you to store key-value pairs. It is also commonly referred to as a dict.

What is a Dictionary?

A dictionary is an unordered collection of items, where each item consists of a key and its corresponding value. The key serves as a unique identifier for the value, similar to how words are defined in a real-life dictionary. The values can be of any data type such as strings, numbers, lists, or even other dictionaries.

Creating a Dictionary

To create a dictionary in Python, you can use curly braces ({}) and separate each key-value pair with a colon (:). Here’s an example:

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

In this example, the keys are ‘name’, ‘age’, and ‘city’, while the corresponding values are ‘John’, 25, and ‘New York’ respectively.

Accessing Values in a Dictionary

You can access the values in a dictionary by referring to its keys. To retrieve the value associated with a particular key, you can use square brackets ([]). For example:

# Output: John

This will print the value associated with the key ‘name’ which is ‘John’.

Modifying and Adding Items

You can modify the value of an existing key in a dictionary by assigning a new value to it. For example:

my_dict['age'] = 26

This will change the value of the key ‘age’ from 25 to 26.

If you want to add a new key-value pair to the dictionary, you can simply assign a value to a new key. For example:

my_dict['occupation'] = 'Engineer'

This will add a new key ‘occupation’ with the value ‘Engineer’ to the dictionary.

Dictionary Methods

Python provides several methods that can be used with dictionaries. Some commonly used methods include:

  • keys(): Returns a list containing all the keys in the dictionary.
  • values(): Returns a list containing all the values in the dictionary.
  • items(): Returns a list of tuples, where each tuple represents a key-value pair.
  • get(): Returns the value associated with a given key. If the key doesn’t exist, it returns None (or an optional default value).


# Output: ['name', 'age', 'city', 'occupation']

# Output: ['John', 26, 'New York', 'Engineer']

# Output: [('name', 'John'), ('age', 26), ('city', 'New York'), ('occupation', 'Engineer')]

# Output: John

# Output: None

These methods can be useful for performing various operations on dictionaries, such as iterating over the keys or values, checking if a key exists, or retrieving multiple key-value pairs.


A dictionary in Python is a versatile data type that allows you to store and retrieve data using key-value pairs. It provides an efficient way to organize and manipulate data. By understanding the basics of dictionaries and their methods, you can leverage this powerful data type to solve a wide range of programming problems.

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