Set implements a collection of unordered values with no duplicates. This is a hybrid of Array’s intuitive inter-operation facilities and Hash’s fast lookup.

Set is easy to use with Enumerable objects (implementing each). Most of the initializer methods and binary operators accept generic Enumerable objects besides sets and arrays. An Enumerable object can be converted to Set using the to_set method.

Set uses Hash as storage, so you must note the following points:

  • Equality of elements is determined according to Object#eql? and Object#hash.

  • Set assumes that the identity of each element does not change while it is stored. Modifying an element of a set will render the set to an unreliable state.

  • When a string is to be stored, a frozen copy of the string is stored instead unless the original string is already frozen.


The comparison operators <, >, <= and >= are implemented as shorthand for the {proper_,}{subset?,superset?} methods. However, the <=> operator is intentionally left out because not every pair of sets is comparable. ({x,y} vs. {x,z} for example)


require 'set'
s1 = [1, 2]                   # -> #<Set: {1, 2}>
s2 = [1, 2].to_set                    # -> #<Set: {1, 2}>
s1 == s2                              # -> true
s1.add("foo")                         # -> #<Set: {1, 2, "foo"}>
s1.merge([2, 6])                      # -> #<Set: {1, 2, "foo", 6}>
s1.subset? s2                         # -> false
s2.subset? s1                         # -> true


- Akinori MUSHA <> (current maintainer)


InspectKey = :__inspect_key__


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