Go: Maps explained

A map is an unordered collection of key-value pairs, where each key is unique.


m := make(map[string]float64)

m["pi"] = 3.1416

fmt.Println(m) // "map[pi:3.1416]"

v1 := m["pi"]  // v1 == 3.1416
v2 := m["foo"] // v2 == zero value

_, exists := m["pi"] // exists == true

if x, ok := m["pi"]; ok {
	fmt.Println(x) // "3.1416"

delete(m, "pi")
fmt.Println(m) // "map[]"
  • The default zero value of a map is nil. A nil map is equivalent to an empty map except that no elements may be added.
  • Use make(mapType, n) to preallocate room for n entries.


m := map[string]float64{
	"e":  2.71828,
	"pi": 3.1416,


n := len(m) // n == number of elements in m


for key, value := range m {
	fmt.Println(key, ": ", value)
  • Iteration order is not specified and may vary from iteration to iteration.
  • If an entry that has not yet been reached is removed during iteration, the corresponding iteration value will not be produced.
  • If an entry is created during iteration, that entry may or may not be produced during the iteration.


  • Maps are backed by hash tables.
  • They provide lookup, insert, and delete operations in constant amortized time.
  • The comparison operators == and != must be defined for the key type.


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