how can I clear a dictionary in python

Antoon Pardon apardon at
Wed Apr 4 10:12:55 CEST 2007

On 2007-04-03, Aahz <aahz at> wrote:
> In article <KP-dnXOp7ea8IZbbnZ2dnUVZ_oCmnZ2d at>,
> Larry Bates  <lbates at> wrote:
>>Aahz wrote:
>>> In article <4_SdndYI-pFUbZfbnZ2dnUVZ_hzinZ2d at>,
>>> Larry Bates  <lbates at> wrote:
>>>> Marko.Cain.23 at wrote:
>>>>> I create a dictionary like this
>>>>> myDict = {}
>>>>> and I add entry like this:
>>>>> myDict['a'] = 1
>>>>> but how can I empty the whole dictionary?
>>>> just point myDict to an empty dictionary again
>>>> myDict={}
>>> Go back and read Christian's post, then post a followup explaning why his
>>> solution is better than yours.  Your explanation should use id().
>>I believe he (as many new to Python do) are mired in old programming
>>thinking that variables "contain" things.  As I'm sure you kno,
>>variables point to things in Python.  I don't believe that there are
>>lots of other objects pointing to this dictionary.  Perhaps the OP
>>can clarify for us.  If there aren't other objects pointing to this
>>dictionary it would make NO sense to iterate over a dictionary and
>>delete all the keys/values so I tried to read between the lines and
>>answer what I believe the OP thought he was asking.
> Then you should explain why you didn't answer the question that was
> asked.  Answering a different question without explanation makes your
> answer irrelevant at best, wrong at worst.

This is not true. If this different question was in fact the intended
question instead of the one actually asked. Anwering this different
question can be more usefull than answering the one actually asked.

People are often enough not very exact in their communication and
that goes double for people who are new in a particular subject.
So I think it is entirely appropiate to think about the real question
the person is strugling with that hides between the question
actually asked.

Yes sometimes those who try to guess the intentions of the OP
are going totally off in the wrong direction. But I have also
seen those people providing very helpfull information, while
those that would stick to the "actual" question didn'y provide
very usefull information.

Antoon Pardon

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