Is there a way to configure emacs, so that when I hit M-backspace it would actually remove the whole variable? If I have a variable like my_dummy_variable I need to hit M-backspace three times in order to remove the name?

  • 4
    Maybe the answers to this question can help.
    – Nsukami _
    Commented Feb 27, 2016 at 18:16
  • this is really related to emacs not C and not C++, suggest remove c tag, Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 1:02

2 Answers 2


You can use the built-in backward-kill-sexp.

(global-set-key (kbd "M-DEL") 'backward-kill-sexp)

This has the unwanted effect of adding whatever was deleted to the kill ring.

To fix this you can try:

(defun backward-delete-sexp (arg)
     (interactive "P")
     (delete-region (point)
            (progn (backward-sexp arg) (point))))
  • actually, you probably want <M-backspace>, not <M-DEL>
    – erjoalgo
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 21:45
  • (let ((kill-ring)) (backward-kill-sexp arg)) may be a cleaner solution.
    – PythonNut
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 22:43

I think you're looking for superword-mode. From its documentation:

Superword mode is a buffer-local minor mode. Enabling it remaps word-based editing commands to superword-based commands that treat symbols as words, e.g. "this_is_a_symbol".

The superword oriented commands activated in this minor mode recognize symbols as superwords to move between superwords and to edit them as words.

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