To delete a key regardless of whether it is in the dictionary, use the two-argument form of dict.pop():

my_dict.pop('key', None)

This will return my_dict[key] if key exists in the dictionary, and None otherwise. If the second parameter is not specified (ie. my_dict.pop('key')) and key does not exist, a KeyError is raised.

To delete a key that is guaranteed to exist, you can also use

del my_dict['key']

This will raise a KeyError if the key is not in the dictionary.