I use vanilla Emacs with evil. I did not install smartparens but it is present and enabled on my system as a dependency of something.

I need to rebind the M-s keys to something other than the default sp-splice-sexp.

The output of describe-key for M-s is currently:

M-s runs the command sp-splice-sexp, which is an interactive compiled
Lisp function in ‘smartparens.el’.

It is bound to M-s, <normal-state> M-s.

Going into smartparens.el, I am able to see that a smartparens-mode-map is defined and M-s belongs to it.

I have tried in vain to do:

(define-key smartparens-mode-map (kbd "M-s") nil)


(evil-define-key 'normal smartparens-mode-map (kbd "M-s") nil)


(define-key evil-normal-state-map (kbd "M-s") nil)

The list of the MELPA packages I use is:

auto-package-update atom-one-dark-theme slime
company evil column-enforce-mode paredit evil-cleverparens
highlight-parentheses key-chord

One of these packages must be loading smartparens and defining the keymap but I can't find which one. Is there a way perhaps to see which keymap or evil keymap to change?

  • Have you tried to disable smartparens-mode?
    – Stefan
    May 12, 2019 at 20:10
  • I have tried (smartparens-mode -1) in my init.el and also (add-hook 'prog-mode-hook (lambda () (smartparens-mode -1)) t). No changes whatsoever, the shortcut still exists in prog-mode or wherever else. May 12, 2019 at 20:18

2 Answers 2


Smartparens doesn't add any key bindings by default as sp-base-key-bindings is set to nil.

Evil-cleverparens has Smartparens as dependency. And evil-cleverparens adds some additional keybindings by default. This includes setting M-s to sp-splice-sexp.

So you have to unbind M-s in evil-cleverparens-mode-map:

(with-eval-after-load 'evil-cleverparens
  (evil-define-key 'normal evil-cleverparens-mode-map (kbd "M-s") nil))

Or change evil-cleverparens-use-additional-bindings to not use those bindings before loading evil-cleverparens:

(setq evil-cleverparens-use-additional-bindings nil)
  • I see. Disabling the additional bindings works for me. But changing the evil-cleverparens-mode-map does not. My configuration might be too messy. Anyhow, I consider my problem solved! Thank you! Feb 3, 2020 at 18:17
  • @ThomasHoullier changed from define-key to evil-define-key, should work now.
    – Hubisan
    Feb 3, 2020 at 21:33
  • Indeed, it works now. Thx. Feb 4, 2020 at 18:41

Similar to How do I turn-off smartparens when using prelude?, the following might do it:

(defun rebind-keys ()
  (define-key smartparens-mode-map (kbd "M-s") nil)

(add-hook 'smartparens-enabled-hook 'rebind-keys t)
  • Alright, just tried this to no avail. Nothing seems changed. I tried adding to the hook 'smartparens-enabled-hook either a key rebinding function or (smartparens-mode -1). Nothing seems to change anything, very puzzling. Jan 3, 2020 at 22:39

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