In paredit mode, C-M-u (paredit-backward-up) is used to move the point

backward up out of the enclosing list

The point is parked at the beginning parenthesis of the enclosing list. My question is:

How to move up one level of sexp similarly but have the point parked at the ending parenthesis instead (if an enclosing parenthesis exists)?

I am asking is that sexp evaluation with C-x C-e (eval-last-sexp) happens at the ending parenthesis (instead of the beginning). And I'd like to repeatedly jump up to a position where I can evaluate using C-x C-e immediately. Ideally, I'd like to have a function that repeatedly jump out and stop at the top-level, where there is no enclosing parenthesis. e.g., given:

'(((how) are) ((you) (do|ing so)) far)

I'd like to move the cursor quickly to the ending parenthesis (I mean with one possibly repeated key combination, as I need to do this a lot).

'(((how) are) ((you) (doing so)) far)|

-- Update --

I needed more specif control of navigation than the end-of-defun suggested in the comments.

Below was a larger example I tested in a scheme-mode buffer, with point indicated by |:

(car '(a b c))
'(((how) are) ((you) (do|ing so)) far)
'(atom turkey) 'or
(car '(a b c))

I tried C-M-x before at the above position, and it gives me

=> a

, which is not the sexp I am trying to evaluate.

Hitting C-M-e (end-of-defun) followed by C-x C-e produces the same result.

  • You can press C-M-e (end-of-defun) followed by C-x C-e, or press C-M-x without moving the cursor.
    – jagrg
    Sep 13, 2022 at 0:23
  • @jagrg Thanks. I just added some updates about C-M-x.
    – tinlyx
    Sep 13, 2022 at 0:56

2 Answers 2


Without Paredit, M-x up-list but it is not bound by default. You can also use C-M-u then C-M-f, but that's not a repeatable binding.

With Paredit, M-x paredit-forward-up is available on C-M-n.


What you need is this ...

(defalias 'eval-next-sexp
  (kbd "C-M-f C-x C-e C-M-b"))

(global-set-key (kbd "C-x C-y") 'eval-next-sexp)

What I have done is created a keyboard macro, named it, inserted it, and bound it to a custom key.

Since you are trying to learn elisp, I hope you will be able to fill in the gaps in my response.

Btw, if it is not clear to you, you need to keep doing C-M-u until you reach the sexp you want, and then do C-x C-y (which you have defined here). See Keyboard Macros.

I don't use paredit, and I am not sure if it re-defines vanilla C-M-u.

I know for a fact that smartparens redefines C-M-u in a manner that I don't like. So, I have disabled the overriding behaviour of C-M-u.

Remember, when people say C-M-u, it is the backward-up-list defined by vanilla Emacs, and NOT the C-M-u that paredit sets it to.

If paredit'sC-M-u leaves you in the "global" scope, then disable that behaviour.

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