The principal function for creating a hash table is
This function creates a new hash table according to the specified arguments. The arguments should consist of alternating keywords (particular symbols recognized specially) and values corresponding to them.
Several keywords make sense in
make-hash-table, but the only two
that you really need to know about are
This specifies the method of key lookup for this hash table. The
equal are other
Keys which are numbers are the same if they are
is, if they are equal in value and either both are integers or both
are floating point; otherwise, two distinct objects are never
Any two distinct Lisp objects are different as keys.
Two Lisp objects are the same, as keys, if they are equal
You can use
define-hash-table-test (see Defining Hash) to
define additional possibilities for test.
The weakness of a hash table specifies whether the presence of a key or value in the hash table preserves it from garbage collection.
The value, weak, must be one of
key-and-value, or t
which is an alias for
key-and-value. If weak is
then the hash table does not prevent its keys from being collected as
garbage (if they are not referenced anywhere else); if a particular key
does get collected, the corresponding association is removed from the
If weak is
value, then the hash table does not prevent
values from being collected as garbage (if they are not referenced
anywhere else); if a particular value does get collected, the
corresponding association is removed from the hash table.
If weak is
key-and-value or t, both the key and
the value must be live in order to preserve the association. Thus,
the hash table does not protect either keys or values from garbage
collection; if either one is collected as garbage, that removes the
If weak is
key-or-value, either the key or
the value can preserve the association. Thus, associations are
removed from the hash table when both their key and value would be
collected as garbage (if not for references from weak hash tables).
The default for weak is
nil, so that all keys and values
referenced in the hash table are preserved from garbage collection.
This specifies a hint for how many associations you plan to store in the hash table. If you know the approximate number, you can make things a little more efficient by specifying it this way. If you specify too small a size, the hash table will grow automatically when necessary, but doing that takes some extra time.
The default size is 65.
When you add an association to a hash table and the table is full, it grows automatically. This value specifies how to make the hash table larger, at that time.
If rehash-size is an integer, it should be positive, and the hash table grows by adding that much to the nominal size. If rehash-size is floating point, it had better be greater than 1, and the hash table grows by multiplying the old size by that number.
The default value is 1.5.
This specifies the criterion for when the hash table is full (so it should be made larger). The value, threshold, should be a positive floating-point number, no greater than 1. The hash table is full whenever the actual number of entries exceeds this fraction of the nominal size. The default for threshold is 0.8.
You can also create a new hash table using the printed representation
for hash tables. The Lisp reader can read this printed
representation, provided each element in the specified hash table has
a valid read syntax (see Printed Representation). For instance,
the following specifies a new hash table containing the keys
key2 (both symbols) associated with
(a symbol) and
300 (a number) respectively.
#s(hash-table size 30 data (key1 val1 key2 300))
The printed representation for a hash table consists of ‘#s’
followed by a list beginning with ‘hash-table’. The rest of the
list should consist of zero or more property-value pairs specifying
the hash table’s properties and initial contents. The properties and
values are read literally. Valid property names are
should be a list of key-value pairs for the initial contents; the
other properties have the same meanings as the matching
make-hash-table keywords (
Note that you cannot specify a hash table whose initial contents include objects that have no read syntax, such as buffers and frames. Such objects may be added to the hash table after it is created.