Master How to Get Key from Value in Dictionary Python Today

how to get key from value in dictionary python

Python dictionaries are a powerful data structure that enables us to store key-value pairs. However, sometimes we may need to retrieve the key based on its corresponding value. In this article, we will explore different methods to help you achieve that quickly and efficiently.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced Python developer, mastering these techniques will allow you to write more efficient and effective code.

Key Takeaways

  • Python dictionaries store data as key-value pairs
  • Retrieving the key from a value in a dictionary can be achieved in different ways, including using loops and built-in methods
  • Dictionary comprehension is a concise and elegant method for extracting the key from a given value
  • The items() method allows us to access both keys and values of a dictionary
  • Python offers additional techniques such as using zip() and defaultdict to enhance our key-value mapping

Introduction to Python Dictionaries and Key-Value Pairs

Python provides various data structures to store and manipulate data efficiently, and one of the most widely used structures is dictionaries. A dictionary is a collection of key-value pairs, where each key maps to a specific value. Python dictionaries are mutable, meaning that you can modify, add, or remove elements as needed.

The syntax for creating a dictionary in Python is straightforward; you enclose the key-value pairs in curly braces ({}), separated by commas. For instance, let’s create a dictionary that maps the name of a fruit to its color:

{‘apple’: ‘red’, ‘banana’: ‘yellow’, ‘grape’: ‘purple’}

Here, the keys are strings that represent the name of a fruit, and the values are strings that represent their corresponding colors.

By default, Python dictionaries are unordered, meaning that the order in which you insert the elements is not maintained. However, starting from Python 3.7, dictionaries are guaranteed to maintain the order of the elements as they are inserted.

Python Dictionary Key from Value

Now that we have a basic understanding of how Python dictionaries work let’s explore how we can find a key from a corresponding value. There are various ways to do this, and in the following sections, we will explore some of the most common techniques in detail.

Keep reading to learn how to master how to get key from value in dictionary python.

Using a Loop to Find the Key by Value in Python Dictionary

One of the most common approaches to finding a key in a Python dictionary based on its value is by using a loop. This method involves iterating through the dictionary’s items to locate the key that corresponds to the given value.

Here’s an example of how you can use a loop to find a key by value in Python:

# create a dictionary

my_dict = {‘apple’: 1, ‘banana’: 2, ‘cherry’: 3}

# define a function to find the key

def get_key(val):

for key, value in my_dict.items():

if val == value:

return key

# call the function to retrieve key by value

print(get_key(2)) # output: ‘banana’

In this example, we create a dictionary named ‘my_dict’ with three key-value pairs. We then define a function named ‘get_key’ that takes a value as an input and iterates through the dictionary to find the corresponding key. Finally, we call the function with a value of 2 to retrieve the key ‘banana’.

This approach can be suitable for dictionaries with a relatively small number of items. However, for larger dictionaries, iterating through each item may become time-consuming. In such cases, other techniques, such as dictionary comprehension or built-in methods, may provide a more efficient solution.

Utilizing Dictionary Comprehension to Retrieve Key from Value in Python

Another efficient technique for retrieving the key from a given value in a Python dictionary is dictionary comprehension. This method allows you to generate a new dictionary based on the existing dictionary and filter the results based on certain conditions.

To get started, let’s take a look at the basic syntax of dictionary comprehension:

{key: value for (key, value) in dictionary.items() if value == target_value}

Here, we create a new dictionary by iterating through the original dictionary’s items and selecting only the items where the value matches the target_value. The key from the selected items is then used as the key in the new dictionary, and the value is preserved.

Let’s see a practical example of how to apply dictionary comprehension to retrieve the key from a value in a Python dictionary:

  # Python program to get key from value in Dictionary

  # Using Dictionary comprehension
  my_dict = {'apple': 1, 'banana': 2, 'orange': 3, 'grapes': 4}
  target_value = 2
  result = next((key for key, value in my_dict.items() if value == target_value), None)
  print(f'The key for value {target_value} is: {result}')
Output: The key for value 2 is: banana

In the above example, we first define the dictionary “my_dict” and the target value “2”. We then use dictionary comprehension to create a new dictionary that only contains items where the value is equal to the target value.

The next() function is used to return the first key found in the dictionary that matches the target value. If no matching key is found, None is returned instead.

By using dictionary comprehension, we can retrieve the key from a value in a Python dictionary with just a few lines of code, making it an efficient and elegant solution to our problem.

Leveraging the Built-in Items() Method for Finding Key by Value

In Python, the items() method allows us to access both keys and values of a dictionary. This built-in method returns a view object that contains tuples of key-value pairs. By iterating through this view object, we can effectively search for the key based on its corresponding value.

Example Syntax:

for key, value in dict.items():
if value == target_value:

In the example above, we iterate through the dictionary dict using the items() method and extract each key-value pair as a tuple. We then compare the value to the target_value that we are searching for. If they match, we print the corresponding key.

This approach is efficient and straightforward, as it avoids the need for manual iteration through the dictionary. Moreover, it can handle situations where the same value appears multiple times in the dictionary, returning all corresponding keys.

By utilizing the items() method, we can effectively find the key corresponding to a specific value in a dictionary. This approach is particularly useful when dealing with large datasets or complex dictionaries with multiple key-value pairs.

Exploring Additional Techniques for Key-Value Mapping in Python

As we have seen in the previous sections, there are several methods to retrieve a key from a given value in a Python dictionary. However, Python provides additional techniques that you may find useful when working with key-value pairs.

Using the zip() Function

The zip() function is a built-in Python function that allows you to combine two or more lists into a single dictionary. This function can come in handy when you need to map values to a set of keys. Take a look at the following example:

Code Output
fruits = ['apple', 'banana', 'cherry']
prices = [0.99, 0.25, 1.99]

fruit_dict = dict(zip(fruits, prices))
{'apple': 0.99, 'banana': 0.25, 'cherry': 1.99}

In this example, we use the zip() function to create a dictionary that maps each fruit to its respective price. The first argument to the zip() function contains the keys, and the second argument contains the values. We then use the built-in dict() function to create a dictionary from the resulting list of tuples.

Using the defaultdict Class

The defaultdict class is a subclass of the built-in Python dict class. The main difference between a regular dictionary and a defaultdict is that a defaultdict returns a default value when you try to access a nonexistent key.

For example, let’s say we have a dictionary that contains some information about different fruits:

Code Output
fruit_info = {'apple': {'color': 'red', 'taste': 'sweet'},
              'banana': {'color': 'yellow', 'taste': 'sweet'},
              'orange': {'color': 'orange', 'taste': 'sour'}}

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "", line 5, in 
KeyError: 'pineapple'

In this example, we try to access the color of an apple and a nonexistent pineapple. As you can see, the first access is successful, but the second access raises a KeyError exception.

Now, let’s use a defaultdict instead:

Code Output
from collections import defaultdict

fruit_info = defaultdict(lambda: {'color': 'unknown', 'taste': 'unknown'})
fruit_info.update({'apple': {'color': 'red', 'taste': 'sweet'},
                   'banana': {'color': 'yellow', 'taste': 'sweet'},
                   'orange': {'color': 'orange', 'taste': 'sour'}})


In this example, we define a defaultdict that returns a default value of {‘color’: ‘unknown’, ‘taste’: ‘unknown’} whenever we access a nonexistent key. We then update the dictionary with some fruit information using the update() method. When we try to access the color of a nonexistent pineapple, the defaultdict returns the default value instead of raising a KeyError exception.

These are just a few examples of the additional techniques that Python provides for key-value mapping. By exploring and experimenting with these techniques, you can enhance your knowledge and find the most suitable approach for your specific requirements.


In conclusion, retrieving a key from a value in a Python dictionary is an essential skill for any developer working with dictionary-based applications. By mastering the methods and techniques covered in this article, you will be able to access the desired key efficiently and effectively.

Whether you choose to use a loop, dictionary comprehension, or the built-in items() method, each technique provides a different approach, and it is important to experiment and determine the best method for your specific use case.

Keep in mind that Python offers many more techniques beyond those covered in this article, including the zip() function and defaultdict class. By expanding your knowledge and exploring various methods, you will become a more versatile and skilled developer.

We hope that this comprehensive guide has provided you with the knowledge and confidence to get the key from a value in a Python dictionary. Remember to always consult the official Python documentation and continue to learn and grow as a developer.

Relevant Keywords:

how to get key from value in dictionary python


Q: How do I get the key from a value in a dictionary using Python?

A: There are several methods you can use to get the key from a value in a dictionary. Some popular techniques include using a loop to iterate through the dictionary, utilizing dictionary comprehension, and leveraging built-in methods such as items(). Each method has its advantages and may be more suitable for specific scenarios. You can choose the one that best fits your needs based on the complexity of your dictionary and the desired outcome.

Q: What is a Python dictionary and how does it store data?

A: In Python, a dictionary is a data structure that stores data as key-value pairs. Each key is unique and acts as an identifier, while its corresponding value holds the associated data. Dictionaries provide a flexible way to organize and retrieve data efficiently, making them a valuable tool in Python programming.

Q: How can I find the key by value in a Python dictionary using a loop?

A: To find the key by value in a Python dictionary using a loop, you can iterate through the dictionary items and compare each value with the desired value. If a match is found, you can retrieve the corresponding key. By using this approach, you can systematically search the dictionary until you locate the desired key-value pair.

Q: Can I use dictionary comprehension to retrieve the key from a value in Python?

A: Yes, you can use dictionary comprehension to retrieve the key from a value in Python. Dictionary comprehension allows you to create a new dictionary based on existing key-value pairs, with the flexibility to include or exclude specific entries. By filtering the dictionary based on the desired value, you can obtain a new dictionary that contains only the key-value pair you are interested in.

Q: How can I find the key by value in a Python dictionary using the items() method?

A: The items() method in Python allows you to access both the keys and values of a dictionary simultaneously. By iterating through the items and checking each value, you can easily find the key corresponding to a specific value. This method provides a convenient way to search for a key based on its associated value without having to explicitly loop through the keys or values separately.

Q: Are there any additional techniques for key-value mapping in Python dictionaries?

A: Yes, apart from the methods covered, Python offers additional techniques for key-value mapping in dictionaries. For example, you can use the zip function to combine two separate lists into a dictionary, where one list represents the keys and the other represents the values. Additionally, the defaultdict class provides a way to define default values for keys that do not exist in a dictionary, simplifying the handling of missing keys.

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