Is Set a Mutable Data Type in Python?


Angela Bailey

Is Set a Mutable Data Type in Python?

In Python, a set is an unordered collection of unique elements. It is defined by enclosing elements within curly braces ({}) and separating them with commas. But the question remains – is a set a mutable or immutable data type?

Mutable vs. Immutable Data Types

Before we dive into the mutability of sets, let’s quickly understand what mutable and immutable mean in the context of programming.

A mutable data type can be changed after it is created. This means that you can add, remove, or modify its elements without creating a new object.

On the other hand, an immutable data type cannot be changed once it is created. If you need to modify an immutable object, you have to create a new object with the desired changes.

Sets as Mutable Data Types

In Python, sets are considered mutable data types. This means that you can modify a set after it is created by adding or removing elements.

Adding Elements to a Set

  • You can add elements to a set using the add() method.
  • The add() method takes a single argument, which is the element you want to add.
  • If an element already exists in the set, it won’t be added again (sets only contain unique elements).

Removing Elements from a Set

  • You can remove elements from a set using the remove() method.
  • The remove() method takes a single argument, which is the element you want to remove.
  • If the element doesn’t exist in the set, a KeyError will be raised. To avoid this, you can use the discard() method, which doesn’t raise an error if the element doesn’t exist.


Adding and Removing Elements from a Set:

my_set = {1, 2, 3}

print(my_set)  # Output: {1, 2, 3, 4}

print(my_set)  # Output: {1, 3, 4}

Note: Sets also provide other methods for adding or removing multiple elements at once.


Sets are mutable data types in Python. You can add or remove elements from a set after it is created. Understanding the mutability of different data types is crucial in programming as it helps you determine how to handle and manipulate data effectively.

Now that we have clarified the mutability of sets in Python, you can confidently use sets to store unique elements and modify them as needed!

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