From a purely mathematical viewpoint, the Dirac delta is not strictly a function, because any real function that is equal to zero everywhere but a single point must have total integral zero.

While for many purposes the Dirac delta can be manipulated as a function, formally it can be defined as a distribution that is also a measure. In many applications, the Dirac delta is regarded as a kind of limit (a weak limit) of a sequence of functions having a tall spike at the origin.