Python Anonymous Function (Lambda Function)

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In this python tutorial, we will discuss what is Python Anonymous function, What is Lambda function in python. Also, We will see these below topics as:

  • Anonymous function with lambda in Python
  • Anonymous function without lambda
  • Anonymous function multiple lines in Python
  • Anonymous function as an argument in Python
  • Anonymous function without argument
  • Anonymous function examples in Python
  • python anonymous function callback
  • Anonymous function multiple arguments
  • Anonymous function in a Python dictionary
  • python anonymous function as a parameter
  • Anonymous function map in Python

Python Anonymous function

Python has two types of functions such as:

  1. Normal function:

A normal function in Python defined using the “def” keyword. We can write in multiple lines and it can have multiple expressions.


This is a simple program that displays the name & power of a pokemon. It accepts 2 arguments & displays the message.

Python normal function
def pokemon(name, power):
    return print(f'This is {name}, he can {power}.')

pokemon('pikachu', 'thunderbolt')


This program accepts the name & power after that display message: This is pikachu, he can thunderbolt.

2. Anonymous function:

  • Python anonymous functions are also known as Lambda function. The keyword used is lambda and they are written in one line and it can have only one expression. These functions don’t need to be defined or named and they are for one-time usage.
  • Python Anonymous functions are popular among advance users as it saves time, effort & memory. though the code becomes less readable but works perfectly fine.

Python anonymous function with lambda

Let us see how to create a Python anonymous function with lambda.

  • Python Lambda function is a one-liner function with no name & used for a one-time task.
  • One-time tasks like performing arithmetic operations, sorting names, loops, etc.
  • It makes the code really small but the code becomes less readable as lambda is an advanced feature.


lambda parameter : action(parameter)


In this below example, there is a free upgrade provided to all the weapons players have. So whatever the level of weapon is now will be upgraded by 2.

Python anonymous function with lambda
Python anonymous function with lambda


weapon_level = [12, 14, 11, 9]
print("Weapon level before upgrade", weapon_level)
print("Weapon level before upgrade",list(map(lambda weapon: weapon + 2, weapon_level )))

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Python anonymous function without lambda

  • Python Anonymous functions are defined using the keyword ‘lambda‘, so technically there is no scope for anonymous function without lambda.
  • But there are instances that say that it can be done using constructors.
  • Constructors initiate the object of a class and are defined using keyword __init__ .
  • But on the other hand, it does not satisfy the condition of anonymous function. As anonymous functions are complete in itself, have no name & are used for a one-time task only.
  • In a conclusion, Constructors can’t be considered as an anonymous function.


class <Name>(object):
     def __init__(self, n1, n2):
         self.n1 = n1
         self.n2 = n2 


This is an example of Python constructor wherein player’s name & rank will be displayed.

Python anonymous function without lambda
Python anonymous function without lambda


class Game():
    def __init__(self, name, rank): = name
       self.rank = rank

p1 = Game('Alpha', 1)
p2 = Game('Delta', 4)
print(, p1.rank)


Since we have printed details of p1 only so the output will be Alpha 1

Python anonymous function multiple lines

  • Anonymous functions are single-line commands or functions applied to a specific task.
  • Python lambda functions can have multiple arguments but only one expression.
  • So after reading the above statements, there is no way to create multiple lines lambda function.
  • It is advised to create normal function if the program has multiple expression.

Anonymous function as argument in Python

  • An argument is the input against the parameter.
  • if there is any parameter assigned to a function then that parameter needs a user argument as a value.
  • In add-function, if “a & b” are assigned as a parameter, then the user needs to provide input that will be placed in “a & b“. let’s say “2 & 3“. now it will give the output as “2+3 = 5”.


In this below example, user will provide an argument that will be added to total bill.

Python anonymous function as argument
anonymous function as argument in python


bill = lambda tip: tip + 10

So here, function is created & parameter ‘tip’ is passed. Now while printing, 5 is the bill + 10 as a tip so total it becomes 15. Here 5 is the argument.


In this example customer has purchased item of 5 & paid 10 as tip. So the output is 5 + 10 = 15. Here 5 is the argument provided by user.

Python anonymous function without argument

  • Argument is a value that needs to be passed while calling a function.
  • Argument makes the program dynamic.
  • But at times we want to provide static value to the program. In that situation, function is created without any parameter & users don’t need to provide any argument. Here in this below example, we will see an anonymous function without argument.


variable_name = lambda : value


We are in a fruit market where every fruit has different defined price. We are printing the total price. This anonymous function do not have argument. so what ever function will be called associated price will be applied on it.

Python anonymous function without argument
Python anonymous function without argument

Code :

apple = lambda : 50
mango = lambda : 40
coconut = lambda : 35



Since apple and mango are called here so defined price 50 + 40 applied. Total becomes : 90

Anonymous function callback in Python

  • A one-liner statement to call a function is widely used among programmers.
  • In this, a predefined function is called single or multiple times using Python lambda function.
  • The most common example is ‘Calculators’, wherein the function is created & called through lambda function on each key individually.


This is the example of a calculator module wherein a button is printed when clicked. In the back-end it is calling function every time clicked.

Python anonymous function callback
anonymous function callback in python

Code :

from tkinter import *

numbers = "" 
def recClick(n): 
    global numbers
    numbers = numbers + str(n) 

if __name__ == "__main__": 
    w = Tk() 
    rec = StringVar() 
    disp = Entry(w, textvariable=rec).pack() 
    Button(w, text=' 1 ', command=lambda: recClick(1)).pack()



The output of the code opens with the window have “TextField” & “Button“. Button keeping on printing 1 on the text field. Whenever a button is clicked a function is called.

Anonymous function multiple arguments

  • Multiple arguments can be passed to an anonymous function similar to normal functions.
  • There is no restriction on passing as many arguments as developers want but there can only be one expression.
  • In other words, the task will be just one irrespective of the arguments passed. Let’s understand it better with an example.


In this example, grocery store has multiple items. User purchased few of them. while checking-out the store manager manually provides the values to each item to generate the total bill.

Python anonymous function multiple arguments
Python anonymous function multiple arguments


grocery = lambda puls, frui, vege : puls + frui + vege
print("Total:",grocery(100, 150 , 75))


So here, multiple arguments in the form of 100, 50, 75 are passed & the output generated is 325 that is the sum of all the items.

Anonymous function in a Python dictionary

  • Python Anonymous functions are used to store a set of instructions in a Python dictionary and from that can be used when required.
  • It is implemented in the key-value format.
  • Lambda is implemented on value only.


name = {
     'unique-key-name' : lambda parameter : expression


In-game health, boost, upgrade, etc are stored in a dictionary & they are called whenever users click on the dedicated button. like when a user clicks on the heart icon, the health bar increases with some percentage.

Python anonymous function in a dictionary
Python anonymous function in a dictionary


extras = {
    'health' : lambda health : health + 5,
    'boost' : lambda speed : speed * 2,
    'upgrade' : lambda level : level + 1



So, in this example user’s current health has been increased by 5 bars, speed is 2x and the level upgraded by 1. So the output doe the above code is 10, 200, 11.

Python anonymous function as a parameter

  • Parameters are the names used while creating functions.
  • def toys(p,b): p & b are the parameters here.
  • Parameter plays an important role as it adds flexibility to the program.
  • Parameters need input from the user.


In this example lambda function is called within a normal function as a parameter. Total bill at restaurant include sub_total ( price of food) + tip.

Python anonymous function as a parameter
Python anonymous function as a parameter


def restaurant(bill):
   return lambda tip :  tip + bill

sub_total = restaurant(200)
total = sub_total(20)


The price for the food is 200 and 20 tip is provided. So the total amount to be paid by the customer is 200 + 20 = 220

Anonymous function using map in Python

  • Map function is used to simplify the program.
  • It takes function followed by iterations as an argument.
  • Map is one of the functions widely used by advanced programmers as it facilitates to implement of the function on each iteration individually.


map(function, iterations)


Due to a glitch in a game 10 coins are added to everyone’s wallet. Players have some balance already, now 10 more added to it. Let’s see this in a program.

Python anonymous function using map
Python anonymous function using map


cur_bal = [223, 112, 32, 71]
new_bal = lambda cur_bal : cur_bal + 10
print(list(map(new_bal, cur_bal)))

You might be thinking why we have used List here. Without list, it will give us only the memory location of the output. Here is the output without using the list.

<map object at 0x00000257F97A9648>


So the user’s current balance was [223, 112, 32, 71 ] but after the function is applied it becomes [233, 122, 42, 81 ]

Anonymous function examples in Python

Python anonymous function is one of the important concepts in python that can help you in reducing lines of code. Here are a few more examples of anonymous functions in Python.


  • In this, we are distributing chocolates & ice-creams. But the condition is below 10 will get chocolate & 10 & above will get ice-cream. We have used filter & map here. Filter is used to classifying students as per their age.
  • Map is used to show the age of students after 2 years. that means 2 is added at every iteration.

Filter :

  • It is a function used to filter the list items.
  • It takes function & iterations as an argument.
  • If in case the function is not applicable then None should be provided.


filter(function, iteration)
Python anonymous function example
anonymous function example in python

Code Snippet:

below_10 = lambda b10 : b10 < 10
above_10 = lambda a10 : a10 >= 10

student_age = [18, 10, 7, 16, 12, 5, 6, 8, 4]

below_ten = list(filter(below_10, student_age))
print("Chocolate: ",list(below_ten))

above_ten = list(filter(above_10, student_age))
print("ice cream : ", above_ten)

# age 2 years later
age_now = map(lambda age: age + 2, student_age)


  • In first case students below 10 is displayed : Chocolate: [7, 5, 6, 8, 4]
  • In second case students above 10 is displayed: ice cream : [18, 10, 16, 12]
  • In third case students age after 2 years is displayed : [20, 12, 9, 18, 14, 7, 8, 10, 6]

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In this python tutorial, we learned:

  • What is Python Anonymous function
  • What is Lambda function in python
  • python anonymous function with lambda
  • Anonymous function without lambda in Python
  • Anonymous function multiple lines
  • Anonymous function as an argument
  • Anonymous function without argument in Python
  • python anonymous function example
  • Anonymous function callback in Python
  • Anonymous function multiple arguments in Python
  • python anonymous function in a dictionary
  • python anonymous function as a parameter
  • python anonymous function map

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