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Python Operator Overloading

Published Feb 21 2021

Operator overloading is an advanced technique we can use to make classes comparable and to make them work with Python operators.

Let’s take a class Dog:

class Dog:
    # the Dog class
    def __init__(self, name, age):
        self.name = name
        self.age = age

Let’s create 2 Dog objects:

roger = Dog('Roger', 8)
syd = Dog('Syd', 7)

We can use operator overloading to add a way to compare those 2 objects, based on the age property:

class Dog:
    # the Dog class
    def __init__(self, name, age):
        self.name = name
        self.age = age
    def __gt__(self, other):
        return True if self.age > other.age else False

Now if you try running print(roger > syd) you will get the result True.

In the same way we defined __gt__() (which means greater than), we can define the following methods:

Then you have methods to interoperate with arithmetic operations:

There are a few more methods to work with other operators, but you got the idea.



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