How do you sort a dictionary by value?


I often have to sort a dictionary, consisting of keys & values, by value. For example, I have a hash of words and respective frequencies, that I want to order by frequency.

There is a SortedList which is good for a single value (say frequency), that I want to map it back to the word.

SortedDictionary orders by key, not value. Some resort to a custom class, but is there a cleaner way?

10/16/2018 4:55:46 PM

Accepted Answer


using System.Linq.Enumerable;
List<KeyValuePair<string, string>> myList = aDictionary.ToList();

    delegate(KeyValuePair<string, string> pair1,
    KeyValuePair<string, string> pair2)
        return pair1.Value.CompareTo(pair2.Value);

Since you're targeting .NET 2.0 or above, you can simplify this into lambda syntax -- it's equivalent, but shorter. If you're targeting .NET 2.0 you can only use this syntax if you're using the compiler from Visual Studio 2008 (or above).

var myList = aDictionary.ToList();

myList.Sort((pair1,pair2) => pair1.Value.CompareTo(pair2.Value));
8/31/2017 11:01:42 PM


Dictionary<string, int> myDict = new Dictionary<string, int>();
myDict.Add("one", 1);
myDict.Add("four", 4);
myDict.Add("two", 2);
myDict.Add("three", 3);

var sortedDict = from entry in myDict orderby entry.Value ascending select entry;

This would also allow for great flexibility in that you can select the top 10, 20 10%, etc. Or if you are using your word frequency index for type-ahead, you could also include StartsWith clause as well.

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