Use the max and min built-in functions to search for the largest and smallest elements in lists.

Max, min. In a list, we do not need to search for the largest or smallest element. Instead we use max and min. The maximum or minimum value is returned.

With two arguments, max returns the larger of the two. And min returns the smaller. We can use max and min to compare two variables.Built-ins

List example. Max and min act on iterables. A list is a common iterable. We use max and min on a list with positive and negative integer elements.

Here: Max returns the value 1000, which is larger than all other elements in the list. And min returns negative 100.

Tip: In all uses, max and min return a single value. If all elements are equal, that value is returned.

Python program that uses max, min
values = [-100, 1, 10, 1000]
# Find the max and min elements.
print(max(values))
print(min(values))
Output
1000
-100

Strings. Consider the use of max and min on a list of strings. An alphabetic sort is used to test strings. The same comparison is used to sort a list.

So: The string that is sorted first is the min. And the string that comes last in sorting is the max.

Python program that uses max, min on string list
values = ["cat", "bird", "apple"]
# Use max on the list of strings.
result = max(values)
print("MAX", values, result)
# Use min.
result = min(values)
print("MIN", values, result)
Output
MAX ['cat', 'bird', 'apple'] cat
MIN ['cat', 'bird', 'apple'] apple

Two arguments. A program has two variables. One has a value larger than the other. We can determine the larger value by passing both variables to max.

Java: This use of max and min is similar to methods like Math.max in Java and Math.Max in C#.

Python program that uses max, min with two arguments
value1 = 100
value2 = -5
# Call max with two arguments.
# ... The larger argument is returned.
maximum = max(value1, value2)
print("MAX", maximum)
# Call min with two arguments.
minimum = min(value1, value2)
print("MIN", minimum)
# If the arguments are equal, max and min return that value.
print("MAX", max(0, 0))
print("MIN", min(0, 0))
Output
MAX 100
MIN -5
MAX 0
MIN 0

With max and min, we search iterables for the largest and smallest elements. We can use these built-in functions to compare two arguments and return the larger or smaller one.