# Python sorted() function With Examples [Latest]

Oct 23, 2022

Python sorted() function returns a sorted list from the items in the iterable.

## Python sorted() function

Python sorted() function syntax is:

There are two optional arguments – key and reverse – which must be specified as keyword arguments.

• iterable: elements from the iterable will be sorted. If key is not specified then natural sorting is used for the elements.
• key: specifies a function of one argument that is used to extract a comparison key from each list element.
• reverse: optional boolean argument. If specified as True then elements are sorted in reverse order.

## Python sorted() string

String is iterable in Python, let’s see an example of using sorted() function with string argument.

Output: `['c', 'd', 'e', 'g', 'i', 'j', 'm', 'n']`

## Python sorted() reverse

Let’s see the sorted list when reversed is passed as True.

Output: `['z', 'y', 'x', 'b', 'a']`

Output:

## Python sorted() key

Let’s say we want to sort a sequence of numbers based on their absolute value, we don’t care about their being positive or negative. We can achieve this by passing `key=abs` to sorted() function. Note that abs() is the built-in function that returns the absolute value of the number.

Output: `[1, -1, 2, -2, 3]`

## Python sort list

Let’s see some examples of using sorted() function with list.

Output:

## sorted() vs list.sort()

• sorted() function is more versatile because it works with any iterable argument.
• Python sorted() function builds a new sorted list from an iterable whereas list.sort() modifies the list in-place.

## sorted() with iterable of different element types

Let’s see what happens when we try to use sorted() function with iterable having different element types.

Output:

## sorted() with custom objects

We can use sorted() function to sort a sequence of custom object based on different types of criteria.

Let’s say we have an Employee class defined as:

Now we have a list of employee objects as:

Sort list of employees based on id

Output:

Sort list of employees based on age

Output:

## Summary

Python sorted() function is guaranteed to be stable. It’s very powerful and allows us to sort a sequence of elements based on different keys.

You can checkout complete python script and more Python examples from our GitHub Repository.

Reference: Official Documentation