**Python math ceil function** is one of many functions provided by Python’s `math`

module. In this article, we’ll see how to use it through examples.

Other similar functions include the `floor()`

function I wrote about in this article and the `round()`

function.

## Python math ceil function explained

**The ceil() function calculates the smallest integer greater than or equal to the number x.** In other words, it rounds the number

`x`

up to the nearest integer value as shown in the figure below.The syntax is as follows:

math.ceil(x)

where `x`

is the value you want to apply ceiling to.

Below you can find the example of the `ceil()`

function usage.

>>> import math >>> math.ceil(3.14) 4

To apply the ceiling operation on a particular number or mathematical expression, first import Python’s `math`

module. Then pass the number to the `ceil()`

function as the first argument. **As a result, you’ll get the nearest integer value greater than or equal to the passed number.**

NOTE- Python 2 returns aceil()function result as a floating point value (float). Python 3 returns it as an integer value (int).

You can see a few examples of using the Python `ceil()`

method below.

x | math.ceil(x) |
---|---|

3.14 | 4 |

4 | 4 |

2.99999999 | 3 |

-3.14 | -3 |

-4 | -4 |

-2.99999999 | -2 |

math.inf | OverflowError |

Notice that the `OverflowError`

was raised when `math.inf`

(Infinity) value was passed to the `ceil()`

function. This happened because the `math.inf`

(float value) was attempted to convert to an **int** value which caused an overflow.

### Ceil division in Python

Unlike the floor division that is supported by a special `//`

operator, there’s no special operator for a ceil division. But there are two ways how you can achieve the same result.

- Define your own function that uses the floor division operator.

def ceil(a, b): return -1 * (-a // b) ceil(7,4) # 2

- Use the Python ceil function directly.

import math math.ceil(7/4) # 2

## Summary

**Python ceil function** is one of the standard functions coming from the `math`

module. Ceil function returns the smallest integer value greater than or equal to the passed argument. You can use it by importing the `math`

module. Then simply pass the argument to it and you’ll get ceiled value as a result. To learn more visit Python’s official documentation.

If you want to know how the Python `floor()`

function works, you can read it in this ZeroToByte article.