Published Aug 4, 2021Updated Oct 11, 2022
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A dictionary is an unordered collection of paired data or key: value pairs.


var dictionaryName = [
  Key1: Value1,
  Key2: Value2,
  Key3: Value3

Keys can be of any hashable type, meaning an object that has a hashcode. Typically, Ints and Strings are used as keys. Every key in a dictionary is unique and they’re used to access, remove, add, or modify its associated value. Values can be of any data type.

While types can be mixed, it’s best practice to keep the key’s and value’s type consistent. For example, a dictionary could have keys be of type Int and values of type String.

Assigning a Value to a Variable

To assign the value of a key-value pair to a variable, set the value of a variable to dictionaryName[keyValue].

var primaryHex = [
"red": "#ff0000",
"yellow": "#ffff00",
"blue": "#0000ff",
print("The hex code for blue is \(primaryHex["blue"])")
// Prints: The hex code for blue is Optional("#0000ff")
if let redHex = primaryHex["red"] {
print("The hex code for red is \(redHex)")
// Prints: The hex code for red is #ff0000

Note: Assigning the value of a key-value pair to a variable will return an optional value. To extract the value, use optional unwrapping.

Iterating Over a Dictionary

A for-in loop can be used to iterate through the keys and values of a dictionary.

var emojiMeaning = [
"🤔": "Thinking Face",
"😪": "Sleepy Face",
"😵": "Dizzy Face"
// Iterate through both keys and values
for (emoji, meaning) in emojiMeaning {
print("\(emoji) is known as the '\(meaning) Emoji'")
// Iterate only through keys
for emoji in emojiMeaning.keys {
// Iterate only through values
for meaning in emojiMeaning.values {

Below are some instance properties for dictionaries:


Returns an integer that represents how many key-value pairs are in a dictionary.
Returns a true value is there are no key-value pairs in a dictionary and false otherwise.
Removes all key-value pairs in a dictionary.
Removes a key-value pairing from a dictionary based on a given key.
Replaces the value stored for the given key or creates a new key-value pair.

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