Python String split()

The split() method breaks down a string into a list of substrings using a chosen separator.


text = 'Python is fun'

# split the text from space print(text.split())
# Output: ['Python', 'is', 'fun']

split() Syntax

str.split(separator, maxsplit)

split() Parameters

The split() method takes a maximum of 2 parameters:

  • separator (optional) - Specifies the delimiter used to split the string. If not provided, whitespace is used as the default delimiter.
  • maxsplit (optional) - Determines the maximum number of splits. If not provided, the default value is -1, which means there is no limit on the number of splits.

split() Return Value

The split() method returns a list of strings.

Example: Python String split()

text= 'Split this string'

# splits using space

grocery = 'Milk, Chicken, Bread'

# splits using ,
print(grocery.split(', '))

# splits using :
# doesn't split as grocery doesn't have :


['Split', 'this', 'string']
['Milk', 'Chicken', 'Bread']
['Milk, Chicken, Bread']


  • text.split() - splits the string into a list of substrings at each space character.
  • grocery.split(', ') - splits the string into a list of substrings at each comma and space character.
  • grocery.split(':') - since there are no colons in the string, split() does not split the string.

Example: split() with maxsplit

We can use the maxsplit parameter to limit the number of splits that can be performed on a string.

grocery = 'Milk#Chicken#Bread#Butter'

# maxsplit: 1
print(grocery.split('#', 1))

# maxsplit: 2
print(grocery.split('#', 2))

# maxsplit: 5
print(grocery.split('#', 5))

# maxsplit: 0
print(grocery.split('#', 0))


['Milk', 'Chicken#Bread#Butter']
['Milk', 'Chicken', 'Bread#Butter']
['Milk', 'Chicken', 'Bread', 'Butter']

Note: If maxsplit is specified, the list will have a maximum of maxsplit+1 items.

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