Clojure way to get a value of a non-keyword key in map

HI all,

I know that the Clojure proper style to get value from

(def my-map {:my 100 :large 200 :map 300})


(:my my-map)

But what about maps with non-keyword keys?

Should I use

(def my-map {"my" 100 "large" 200 "map" 300})
(my-map "large")


(get my-map "large")

I know I need to use (get ... if I want to specify a default value (get my-map "large" :not-found) but except that, it’s the same as (map key}

Could anyone please tell me what do cool kids use for this?

Thank you,


I tend to name maps I tend to use as functions like something->something-else

After testing in REPL, TIL than we can use default fallback without get too:

(my-map "large" :not-found)
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That’s a good tip ;-).


I think no get is the way to go :wink:

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I’ll use get when the map could potentially be nil. A nil in the function position will throw a NullPointerException.

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I almost always use (get my-map "key") for fear of my-map being nil.

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It turns out keyword access also works for symbols;

user> ('x '{x 2})

I didn’t know that years back and ended up with a subtle bug since I almost never do this.

Fyi, using the map-as-function form ({:x 2} :x) has the side benefit of being typically faster than going through the polymorphic clojure.core/get (and surprisingly faster than the keyword access route without much change), since get works on java maps and sets and arrays. All the polymorphism adds overhead per access.


I like to use get to make it clear to the reader it is a map, possibly with a default value.

I also like to use the function grab from Tupelo Clojure as it will throw an exception if the key is not present.