Understanding the Python locals() Function: A Comprehensive Guide

In this tutorial, we will delve into one of Python’s built-in functions – locals(). This function returns a dictionary representing the current namespace with local variable names as keys and their values as corresponding dictionary values.

Usage of locals() Function

The locals() function is used without any parameters. Here’s how you can use it:

def sample_function():
    var1 = 20


This code will output a dictionary containing all local variables within the function, including ‘var1’.

A Walkthrough Example

To better understand how to use the locals() function, let’s walk through an example:

def greet(name):
    greeting = "Hello, " + name

In this example, we have a function called ‘greet’ that takes in a parameter ‘name’. Inside the function, we create a variable ‘greeting’ that concatenates “Hello, ” with the provided name. When we call locals(), it returns a dictionary with both ‘name’ and ‘greeting’ as keys and their respective values.

Note on Usage

The locals() function can be very useful for debugging purposes as it allows you to see all the local variables at a glance. However, modifying the dictionary it returns does not affect the actual local namespace. Therefore, while you can inspect your local variables using this method, you cannot change them.


The Python locals() function is a powerful tool for understanding and debugging your code. By providing a snapshot of the local namespace at any given point in your program, it allows you to track variable values and diagnose potential issues.

We hope this tutorial has been helpful in understanding the usage and benefits of the locals() function in Python. Happy coding!

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