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A pure Python Levenshtein implementation that's not freaking GPL'd.

Project description

A pure Python Levenshtein implementation that’s not freaking GPL’d.

Based off the Wikipedia code samples at


  • Python 2.7.X, Python 3.3+ or PyPy 1.6.0+


Usage is fairly straightforward:

import pylev
distance = pylev.levenshtein('kitten', 'sitting')
assert distance == 3


New BSD.



$ git clone
$ cd pylev


$ python -m unittest tests

Version History

  • v1.4.0

    • Updated for current versions of Python

    • Integrated a better Travis matrix. Thanks to @grainert!

    • Fixed mistaken docs about the assert. Thanks to @adamchainz!

    • Reorganized the package.

    • Blacked all the source code.

  • v1.3.0

    • Implemented a considerably faster variants (orders of magnitude).

    • Tested & working on Python 2.7.4, Python 3.3.1 & PyPy 1.9.0.

  • v1.2.0

    • Fixed all incorrect spellings of “Levenshtein” (there’s no “c” in it).

    • Old methods are aliased for backward-compatibility.

  • v1.1.0

    • Implemented a much faster variant (several orders of magnitude).

    • The older variant was renamed to classic_levenschtein.

    • Tested & working on Python 3.3 & PyPy 1.6.0 as well.

  • v1.0.2

    • Python packaging is REALLY hard. Including the README this time.

  • v1.0.1

    • Python packaging is hard. Including the README this time.

  • v1.0.0

    • Initial release, just the naive implementation of Levenshtein.

Project details

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