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Effortlessly Reverse a String in Python


Reverse Strings in Python: reversed(), Slicing, and More

When working with Python strings, you may find the need to reverse them. Python provides several tools and techniques that can help you accomplish this task efficiently. In this tutorial, you will learn how to reverse strings in Python using various methods such as slicing, built-in functions, iteration, recursion, and sorting.

Reversing Strings With Core Python Tools

Reversing Strings Through Slicing

Slicing is a powerful technique that allows you to extract a portion of a string by specifying start and end indices. In order to reverse a string using slicing, you can utilize the extended slice syntax [start:end:step] with a negative step value. Here’s an example:

string = "ABCDEF"
reversed_string = string[::-1]
print(reversed_string) # Output: "FEDCBA"

By specifying a step value of -1, you can obtain a reversed copy of the original string.

Reversing Strings With .join() and reversed()

Another way to reverse a string in Python is by using the reversed() function in combination with the join() method. The reversed() function returns an iterator that yields the characters of the input string in reverse order. You can then pass this iterator to the join() method to concatenate the reversed characters into a string. Here’s an example:

string = "ABCDEF"
reversed_string = ''.join(reversed(string))
print(reversed_string) # Output: "FEDCBA"

The join() method concatenates the characters of the input iterator using the specified delimiter (in this case, an empty string) and returns a new string.

Generating Reversed Strings by Hand

In addition to using core Python tools, you can also generate reversed strings manually using different techniques such as loops, recursion, and the reduce() function.

Reversing Strings in a Loop

One way to reverse a string is by iterating over its characters in reverse order and appending them to a new string. Here’s an example using a for loop:

string = "ABCDEF"
reversed_string = ""
for char in string:
reversed_string = char + reversed_string
print(reversed_string) # Output: "FEDCBA"

In each iteration, the current character is concatenated to the beginning of the reversed string.

Reversing Strings With Recursion

Recursion is another approach to reverse a string. In this case, you define a recursive function that repeatedly separates the string into smaller parts until you reach the base case (an empty string), and then concatenate the reversed parts. Here’s an example:

def reverse_string(string):
if len(string) == 0:
return ""
return reverse_string(string[1:]) + string[0]
string = "ABCDEF"
reversed_string = reverse_string(string)
print(reversed_string) # Output: "FEDCBA"

The function reverse_string() recursively calls itself with a substring excluding the first character until the string is empty.

Using reduce() to Reverse Strings

The reduce() function from the functools module can also be used to reverse a string. By applying a combining function that concatenates the current character with the reversed string, you can reduce the string into a single reversed value. Here’s an example:

from functools import reduce
string = "ABCDEF"
reversed_string = reduce(lambda rev, char: char + rev, string, "")
print(reversed_string) # Output: "FEDCBA"

The combining function takes two arguments: the current reversed string and the current character. It performs the concatenation and returns the result.

Iterating Through Strings in Reverse

Python provides built-in functions and slicing operators that allow you to iterate through strings in reverse order.

The reversed() Built-in Function

The reversed() function creates an iterator that yields the characters of a string in reverse order. You can use it in a loop to iterate through the characters. Here’s an example:

string = "ABCDEF"
for char in reversed(string):
print(char) # Output: "F E D C B A"

Each character is returned by the iterator in reverse order.

The Slicing Operator, [::-1]

You can also use the slicing operator [::-1] to iterate through the characters of a string in reverse order. Here’s an example:

string = "ABCDEF"
for char in string[::-1]:
print(char) # Output: "F E D C B A"

The slicing operator creates a new string containing the characters of the original string in reverse order.

Creating a Custom Reversible String

If you need to work with reversible strings frequently, you can create a custom class that behaves like a reversed string. Here’s an example:

class ReversibleString:
def __init__(self, string):
self.string = string
def __repr__(self):
return self.string[::-1]
string = "ABCDEF"
reversed_string = ReversibleString(string)
print(reversed_string) # Output: "FEDCBA"

The ReversibleString class stores the original string and defines a __repr__() method that returns the reversed string when the object is printed.

Sorting Python Strings in Reverse Order

In some cases, you may need to sort strings in reverse order. You can achieve this by using the sorted() function with the reverse=True argument. Here’s an example:

strings = ["ABCDEF", "ZYXWVU", "POIUYT"]
sorted_strings = sorted(strings, reverse=True)
print(sorted_strings) # Output: ["ZYXWVU", "POIUYT", "ABCDEF"]

The sorted() function sorts the input list of strings in reverse order based on their lexicographic order.


In this tutorial, you learned various techniques for reversing strings in Python. You explored methods such as slicing, reversed(), iteration, recursion, and sorting. By understanding these tools, you can efficiently reverse strings and improve your skills as a Python developer.