Python Closures

Python, a versatile and powerful programming language, offers a variety of constructs to aid in code organization and data manipulation. One such construct is the Python closure, a unique feature that combines the power of nested functions and non-local variables. This article will delve into the concept of Python closures, providing ample examples and explanations for beginners.

Understanding Python Closures

A Python closure is a function object that remembers values in enclosing scopes even if they are not present in memory. It is a record that stores a function together with an environment: a mapping associating each free variable of the function (variables that are used locally, but defined in an enclosing scope) with the value or reference to which the name was bound when the closure was created. A closure, unlike a plain function, allows the function to access those captured variables through the closure’s reference to them, even when the function is called outside their scope.

The Essentials of Python Closures

To understand closures, we first need to understand nested functions in Python. Nested functions are functions defined inside another function, known as the outer function. The inner function, or the nested function, can access variables of the enclosing scope, even after the outer function has completed its execution.

Here’s a simple example of a Python closure:

def outer_function(text):
    def inner_function():
    return inner_function

my_closure = outer_function('Hello, World!')

In the above code, outer_function is the outer function which defines text, and inner_function is the nested function which prints the value of text. The outer_function returns the inner_function without calling it, thus creating a closure. When we call my_closure(), it remembers the value of text even though the outer_function has finished its execution.

Benefits of Python Closures

Python closures have several benefits that make them a valuable tool for developers:

  1. Data Hiding: Closures help in data hiding. They can be used to prevent access to variables that are not meant to be directly accessed.
  2. Avoiding the Use of Global Variables: Closures help avoid the use of global variables. By using closures, the scope of the variable can be limited and controlled, which helps in maintaining and managing the code.
  3. Implementing Data Hiding and Encapsulation: Closures can also be used to implement data hiding and encapsulation, which are key concepts in object-oriented programming.
  4. Function Factories: Closures can be used to create function factories. A function factory is a function that returns other functions with specific behaviors.
  5. Simplifying Code: Closures can lead to cleaner and more readable code by eliminating the need for duplicate code.


Python closures are a powerful tool that can greatly enhance your code’s efficiency and organization. They provide a unique way to store data and can be used to create highly customizable function factories. Understanding closures is a step towards mastering Python and writing more efficient, clean code.

Remember, the best way to learn is by doing. So, don’t hesitate to experiment with closures in your Python programs!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What are the closures in Python?

    A closure in Python is a function object that remembers values in enclosing scopes even if they are not present in memory. It is a record that stores a function together with an environment.

  2. Why use closure in Python?

    Closures are used for data hiding and encapsulation, reducing the use of global variables, and creating function factories. They can also simplify code and improve readability.

  3. What is the difference between a function and a closure in Python?

    The main difference between a function and a closure in Python is that a closure remembers the values from its enclosing lexical scope, even when the program flow is no longer in that scope.

  4. What is __ closure __ in Python function?

    The __closure__ attribute of a function in Python returns a tuple of cell objects if it is a closure function. Each cell object in the tuple contains the value of a variable captured by

  5. What are the criterias that must be met to create closure in Python?

    There are three criteria that must be met to create a closure in Python:
    1. We must have a nested function (function inside a function).
    2. The nested function must refer to a value defined in the enclosing function.
    3. The enclosing function must return the nested function.

  6. What are the benefits of closures in Python?

    Closures provide data hiding and encapsulation, reduce the use of global variables, and allow the creation of function factories. They can also simplify code and improve readability.

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