What is difference between HashMap and HashSet

Upasana | May 25, 2019 | 2 min read | 368 views

Both HashMap and HashSet are part of Java Collections Framework.


HashMap is essentially a Hash table based implementation of Map interface. It permits null values and null key. Duplicate keys are not allowed in map.


This class is an implementation of Set interface, backed by a HashMap instance. Set by definition does not allow duplicate values.

Both these classes require its keys to implement equals and hashcode method to work properly.

Difference b/w the two

Here is the summary of difference between the two classes:

Difference b/w HashMap and HashSet
HashMap HHashSet


HashMap implements Map interface

HashSet implements Set interface


HashMap allows duplicate values but no duplicate key

HashSet does not allow duplicates

Null Values

HashMap allows single null key and any number of null values

HashSet allows single null value

Insertion method

put(K key, V value)

add(E e)

Dummy value


HashSet creates a single Dummy value to associate with an Object in the backing map

Code samples

Code sample for HashMap
import java.util.HashMap;

class Scratch {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        HashMap<String, Integer> frequencyMap = new HashMap<>();
        frequencyMap.put("word1", 10);
        frequencyMap.put("word2", 20);
        frequencyMap.put("word3", 30);

        System.out.println("frequencyMap = " + frequencyMap);
        frequencyMap.put("word2", 25);  (1)

        System.out.println("frequencyMap = " + frequencyMap);
1 Storing data with a duplicate key will replace the previous data in map.
Program output
frequencyMap = {word1=10, word3=30, word2=20}
frequencyMap = {word1=10, word3=30, word2=25}
Code sample for HashSet
import java.util.HashSet;

class Scratch {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        HashSet<String> dictionary = new HashSet<>();

        System.out.println("dictionary = " + dictionary);

        System.out.println("dictionary = " + dictionary);

        System.out.println("dictionary = " + dictionary);
Program output
dictionary = [word1, word3, word2]
dictionary = [word1, word3, word2]
dictionary = [null, word1, word3, word2]

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