Python ‘timeit()’ Function: Everything You Need To Know

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Python is a high-level programming language used in various applications, from web development and data analysis to scientific computing and artificial intelligence. One feature that makes Python a universal language is its built-in support for timing the execution of code snippets. The timeit‘ module provides a simple and efficient way to measure the time needed for the execution of small bits of Python code.

Python timeit()

In this article, we will explore the ‘timeit()‘ function in detail, covering everything you need to know about how to use it and what it can do.

See Also: What Are The Key Features Of Python?


What Is The ‘timeit‘ Function In Python?

The ‘timeit‘ function is a tool that measures the execution time of a small Python code snippet. Python’s standard library includes the ‘timeit‘ module of which the ‘timeit’ function forms a part. It is available for use in all Python installations.

The ‘timeit‘ function measures the execution time of any Python code, regardless of its complexity. One can also use it to test the performance of individual functions, compare different algorithms, or evaluate the impact of changes to your code.

How To Use The ‘timeit‘ Function

Using the ‘timeit‘ function is simple. The basic syntax for using the function is as follows:

Timeit example

The ‘stmt‘ argument is the code snippet for which one wants to measure the execution time. The ‘setup‘ argument is optional and specifies any code that needs execution before running ‘stmt’. The timer argument is optional and allows you to set a different timing function. The number argument is the ‘number‘ of times the code snippet should be executed.

The given example shows the usage of the ‘timeit‘ function to measure the time needed for the execution of a simple code snippet:

Timeit example

In this example, the code “a = 2 + 2” is executed one million times, and the execution time is measured using the ‘timeit‘ function. The console then displays the outcome.

The primary usage of the ‘timeit’ function is to pass a string of code to be executed as an argument. For example, the following code measures the time it takes to execute a print statement:

Timeit example

In this example, the ‘number’ argument specifies the number of times to run the code. The outcome will be more accurate the higher the number, and the output will be the time it took to run the code in seconds.

You can also pass a setup string as a second argument to ‘timeit‘, which will be executed before the code. The setup string helps import modules or set up data needed for the execution of the code. For example:

Timeit example

In addition to using ‘timeit‘ as a function, you can also use it as a context manager. The context manager provides a convenient way to time a block of code. For example:

Timeit example

The ‘timeit‘ module also provides a ‘timer‘ class for more advanced usage. The ‘timer’ class allows you to specify the number of loops and the repeat value. The repeat value is the number of times ‘timeit‘ will repeat the timing process, and the final result will be the best time among all the repeats.

Timeit example

It is important to note that the ‘timeit‘ module does not intend to measure the performance of long-running tasks. Instead, it provides a quick and easy way to measure the execution time of small bits of code.

The Benefits Of Using The ‘timeit‘ Function

The ‘timeit’ function provides several benefits when it comes to measuring the execution time of your Python code. Here are a few of the key advantages:

  1. Accurate and reliable measurements: The ‘timeit’ function uses a high-precision timer to measure the execution time of your code, ensuring that the results are accurate and reliable.
  2. Easy to use: The ‘timeit’ function is simple and requires a minimalistic setup, making it a convenient and efficient tool for measuring the performance of your code.
  3. Flexible: The ‘timeit’ function allows you to measure the execution time of any piece of Python code, regardless of its complexity. This makes it a flexible tool for a wide range of use cases.
  4. Repeatable: You may define how many times the code snippet should run by using the “timeit” function. Thus, making it easy to repeat the measurements and obtain consistent results.


In conclusion, Python’s ‘timeit’ function is a powerful tool for profiling and optimizing small pieces of code. It provides a simple and productive way to measure the execution time of code. It also offers advanced options for more complex use cases. Whether you are working on improving the performance of your code or want to know how long a specific task takes to run, the ‘timeit’ module is the tool for you.

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