partial: Partially apply a function, filling in some arguments

View source: R/adverb-partial.R

partialR Documentation

Partially apply a function, filling in some arguments


Partial function application allows you to modify a function by pre-filling some of the arguments. It is particularly useful in conjunction with functionals and other function operators.


  .env = deprecated(),
  .lazy = deprecated(),
  .first = deprecated()



a function. For the output source to read well, this should be a named function.


named arguments to .f that should be partially applied.

Pass an empty ... = argument to specify the position of future arguments relative to partialised ones. See rlang::call_modify() to learn more about this syntax.

These dots support quasiquotation. If you unquote a value, it is evaluated only once at function creation time. Otherwise, it is evaluated each time the function is called.


[Deprecated] The environments are now captured via quosures.


[Deprecated] Please unquote the arguments that should be evaluated once at function creation time with !!.


[Deprecated] Please pass an empty argument ... = to specify the position of future arguments.


partial() creates a function that takes ... arguments. Unlike compose() and other function operators like negate(), it doesn't reuse the function signature of .f. This is because partial() explicitly supports NSE functions that use substitute() on their arguments. The only way to support those is to forward arguments through dots.

Other unsupported patterns:

  • It is not possible to call partial() repeatedly on the same argument to pre-fill it with a different expression.

  • It is not possible to refer to other arguments in pre-filled argument.


A function that takes the same arguments as .f, but returns a different value, as described above.


This function is called an adverb because it modifies the effect of a function (a verb). If you'd like to include a function created an adverb in a package, be sure to read faq-adverbs-export.

See Also

Other adverbs: auto_browse(), compose(), insistently(), negate(), possibly(), quietly(), safely(), slowly()


# Partial is designed to replace the use of anonymous functions for
# filling in function arguments. Instead of:
compact1 <- function(x) discard(x, is.null)

# we can write:
compact2 <- partial(discard, .p = is.null)

# partial() works fine with functions that do non-standard
# evaluation
my_long_variable <- 1:10
plot2 <- partial(plot, my_long_variable)
plot2(runif(10), type = "l")

# Note that you currently can't partialise arguments multiple times:
my_mean <- partial(mean, na.rm = TRUE)
my_mean <- partial(my_mean, na.rm = FALSE)

# The evaluation of arguments normally occurs "lazily". Concretely,
# this means that arguments are repeatedly evaluated across invocations:
f <- partial(runif, n = rpois(1, 5))

# You can unquote an argument to fix it to a particular value.
# Unquoted arguments are evaluated only once when the function is created:
f <- partial(runif, n = !!rpois(1, 5))

# By default, partialised arguments are passed before new ones:
my_list <- partial(list, 1, 2)

# Control the position of these arguments by passing an empty
# `... = ` argument:
my_list <- partial(list, 1, ... = , 2)

purrr documentation built on Jan. 10, 2023, 5:15 p.m.