The **Levenshtein distance** between two strings is the minimum number of single-character edits required to turn one word into the other.

The word “edits” includes substitutions, insertions, and deletions.

For example, suppose we have the following two words:

- PARTY
- PARK

The Levenshtein distance between the two words (i.e. the number of edits we have to make to turn one word into the other) would be **2**:

In practice, the Levenshtein distance is used in many different applications including approximate string matching, spell-checking, and natural language processing.

This tutorial explains how to calculate the Levenshtein distance between strings in Python by using the python-Levenshtein module.

You can use the following syntax to install this module:

pip install python-Levenshtein

You can then load the function to calculate the Levenshtein distance:

from Levenshtein import distance as lev

The following examples show how to use this function in practice.

**Example 1: Levenshtein Distance Between Two Strings**

The following code shows how to calculate the Levenshtein distance between the two strings “party” and “park”:

#calculate Levenshtein distance lev('party', 'park') 2

The Levenshtein distance turns out to be **2**.

**Example 2: Levenshtein Distance Between Two Arrays**

The following code shows how to calculate the Levenshtein distance between every pairwise combination of strings in two different arrays:

#define arrays a = ['Mavs', 'Spurs', 'Lakers', 'Cavs'] b <- ['Rockets', 'Pacers', 'Warriors', 'Celtics'] #calculate Levenshtein distance between two arrays for i,k in zip(a, b): print(lev(i, k)) 6 4 5 5

The way to interpret the output is as follows:

- The Levenshtein distance between ‘Mavs’ and ‘Rockets’ is
**6**. - The Levenshtein distance between ‘Spurs’ and ‘Pacers’ is
**4**. - The Levenshtein distance between ‘Lakers’ and ‘Warriors’ is
**5**. - The Levenshtein distance between ‘Cavs’ and ‘Celtics’ is
**5**.

**Additional Resources**

How to Calculate Hamming Distance in Python

How to Calculate Euclidean Distance in Python

How to Calculate Mahalanobis Distance in Python