I am looking for a function that returns a function (preferably quoted) for a given key binding. I know about C-h k (e.g. M-x describe-key), but I am looking for a lower-level function. (My use case is that I want to save a previous key binding before rebinding it.)

  • Not an answer, but perhaps of interest given your question: check out bind-key, which is part of use-package (github.com/jwiegley/use-package). It's a nice wrapper for defining keys that let's you easily see all your personal bindings and what they've replaced.
    – glucas
    Dec 15, 2014 at 22:25

1 Answer 1


I found the aptly-named key-binding after reading the source code for describe-key:

key-binding is a built-in function in `C source code'.


Return the binding for command KEY in current keymaps. KEY is a string or vector, a sequence of keystrokes. The binding is probably a symbol with a function definition.

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