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Copy an element of an array to a standard Python scalar and return it.

*argsArguments (variable number and type)
  • none: in this case, the method only works for arrays with one element (a.size == 1), which element is copied into a standard Python scalar object and returned.

  • int_type: this argument is interpreted as a flat index into the array, specifying which element to copy and return.

  • tuple of int_types: functions as does a single int_type argument, except that the argument is interpreted as an nd-index into the array.

zStandard Python scalar object

A copy of the specified element of the array as a suitable Python scalar


When the data type of a is longdouble or clongdouble, item() returns a scalar array object because there is no available Python scalar that would not lose information. Void arrays return a buffer object for item(), unless fields are defined, in which case a tuple is returned.

item is very similar to a[args], except, instead of an array scalar, a standard Python scalar is returned. This can be useful for speeding up access to elements of the array and doing arithmetic on elements of the array using Python’s optimized math.


>>> np.random.seed(123)
>>> x = np.random.randint(9, size=(3, 3))
>>> x
array([[2, 2, 6],
       [1, 3, 6],
       [1, 0, 1]])
>>> x.item(3)
>>> x.item(7)
>>> x.item((0, 1))
>>> x.item((2, 2))