Python XOR in Simple Words with Examples

One of the operators that will engage you more in Python programming is the XOR operator which is very useful in different areas of the language.

Python programming is known for its unique and useful operators.

This reason has engaged many programmers to try out Python language as their primary tool for programming software.

What is Python XOR?

XOR is one of Python’s built-in operators which returns an integer when both values in an argument are integers.

However, at some point, this operator converts arguments into binary (1 and 0) which means 1 is true and 0 is false.

For instance, the XOR operator can act as a boolean that returns true or false.

Therefore, we can use Python XOR for integers and boolean(true or false).

Python XOR Operator

The XOR in Python operator (^) compares two binary numbers bitwise and is sometimes known as bitwise “exclusive or operator.”

If two bits are identical, XOR returns 0, and if two bits are distinct, it returns 1.

Additionally, the XOR operator can be applied to booleans.

XOR is typically employed when we don’t want two conditions to be true at the same time.

Let’s have some examples to try the XOR operator.

Example 1: Integers

sample_int = 16 ^ 25



Example 1: clarifies the statement that when we use Python XOR for both integers, it will return also an integer.

Do not be confused with how the operator come-up with the output.

Remember that XOR converts the integer to binary numbers, adds them, and then displays the output.

Let us have another example.

Example 2: Boolean

a = True ^ True
b = True ^ False
c = False ^ True
d = False ^ False




This example now shows that the operator only returns true if the arguments are not the same.

XOR is useful for confirming if both arguments are the same or not.

XOR using Operator Module

From the examples above, we only used the ^ symbol to execute the XOR operator.

However, we may also apply to perform the XOR function using the operator module (operator.xor()).

This module works similarly with the ^ symbol and we will test it with the following examples.

Example 1: Integers

import operator




Example 2: Boolean

import operator




As seen in the given examples, the Python XOR operator module works similarly with the ^ symbol.

Either of the operator module or the symbol, your program will work just fine.

Python Bitwise XOR Operator

In Python, bitwise operators are also known as binary operators, and they are primarily used to perform bitwise operations on integers.

First, the numbers are transformed into a binary representation, and then the operations are carried out bit by bit.

When using Python bitwise XOR operator on integers, they were converted into binary first.

Then the operator adds the binaries. The operator converts the sum back into an integer to display as an output.

Shift Operator

Shift operators (<< or >>) is one of Python’s bitwise operators that shifts integers to left or right with the given number of times.

In simple words, the shift left and right operators append zeros(0) to the number or integer according to how many shifts were declared.

Bitwise Operator Overloading

Bitwise operator Overloading is a method that extends its meaning beyond its predefined function.

It offers any operator an additional capability to react based on the situation.

The plus operator, for instance, can be used to add two numeric values or concatenate two or more strings.

Therefore, it is known as “operator overloading” since the “+” operator in a standard string library is overloaded for concatenation.

Remember that this operator will be discussed further with the use of examples.


In summary, the tutorial about Python XOR in simple words with examples completes every detail that a programmer needs to understand the Python XOR operator.

Python XOR is merely difficult to understand at first glance but it is enjoyable once you know how it works in a program.

Nevertheless, always bare in mind that the discussed operator has a lot of useful ideas and functions when used with different Python extended operators or when used with a bitwise overloading operator.

You may also check the Python Sort Dictionary by Key and Value with Example.

Don’t forget to keep in touch through the comments when you have any clarifications and suggestions.

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