Python List Cmp() Method



Python list method cmp() compares elements of two lists.


Following is the syntax for cmp() method -

cmp(list1, list2)


  • list1 - This is the first list to be compared.
  • list2 - This is the second list to be compared.

Return Value

If elements are of the same type, perform the comparison and return the result. If elements are different types, check to see if they are numbers.

  • If numbers, perform numeric coercion if necessary and compare.
  • If either element is a number, then the other element is "larger" (numbers are "smallest").
  • Otherwise, types are sorted alphabetically by name.

If we reached the end of one of the lists, the longer list is "larger." If we exhaust both lists and share the same data, the result is a tie, meaning that 0 is returned.


The following example shows the usage of cmp() method.


list1, list2 = [123, 'xyz'], [456, 'abc']
print cmp(list1, list2)
print cmp(list2, list1)
list3 = list2 + [786];
print cmp(list2, list3)

When we run the above program, it produces the following result -


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