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HashSet Collection Type

The HashSet<T> class is a set collection that implements the ICollection interface and the ICollection<T> generic interface.

Set Collections

In mathematics, a set is a collection of distinct objects that is usually defined by a rule that determines whether an element is a member of a particular set. For example, a set could be defined to contain "all the odd numbers between 1 and 21" or the numbers "1, 3, 5 and 7".

The HashSet Class

The HashSet<T> class is based on the model of mathematical sets and provides high-performance set operations similar to accessing the keys of the Dictionary<TKey, TValue> or Hashtable collections. In simple terms, the HashSet<T> class can be thought of as a Dictionary<TKey, TValue> collection without values.

A HashSet<T> collection is not sorted and cannot contain duplicate elements. If order or element duplication is more important than performance for your application, consider using the List<T> class together with the Sort method.

HashSet<T> provides many mathematical set operations, such as set addition (unions) and set subtraction. The following table lists the provided HashSet<T> operations and their mathematical equivalents.

HashSet(Of T) operation

Mathematical equivalent


Union or set addition




Set subtraction


Symmetric difference

In addition to the listed set operations, the HashSet<T> class also provides methods for determining set equality, overlap of sets, and whether a set is a subset or superset of another set.

See Also


HashSet and LINQ Set Operations



Other Resources

Commonly Used Collection Types