Published Apr 1, 2022Updated Mar 7, 2023
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In computer science, a tuple is a data structure consisting of an ordered collection with an arbitrary number of elements. A tuple of “N” elements, where “N” is a positive integer, is generally referred to as an N-tuple. Many computer languages implement a tuple as its own structure or object type.

Typically, a tuple implementation in any programming language has the following characteristics:

  • It can contain an object or any other data type in any combination.
  • It allows duplicate entries.
  • It has a specified order, determined by the order of elements during creation.
  • It is immutable and cannot have its elements changed once it is defined.
  • Its elements are iterable.
  • Instances are not equal unless they consist of the same members in the same order. (i.e. (1,2,3) <> (3,2,1))

Some languages, such as Python, have built-in support for tuples, while other languages, such as Java, don’t have built-in support for tuples and need to define a class, or import a special library to implement them.

Languages with built-in support for tuples include:


The following defines three different tuples in Python:

a = (1, 2, 3)
b = ('x', 23, [0,6,15])
c = (a, b)

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