We say that a variable is void if its symbol has an unassigned value
cell (see Symbol Components). Under Emacs Lisp's default dynamic
binding rules (see Variable Scoping), the value cell stores the
variable's current (local or global) value. Note that an unassigned
value cell is not the same as having
nil in the value
cell. The symbol
nil is a Lisp object and can be the value of
a variable, just as any other object can be; but it is still a value.
If a variable is void, trying to evaluate the variable signals a
void-variable error rather than a value.
Under lexical binding rules, the value cell only holds the variable's global value, i.e., the value outside of any lexical binding construct. When a variable is lexically bound, the local value is determined by the lexical environment; the variable may have a local value if its symbol's value cell is unassigned.
This function empties out the value cell of symbol, making the variable void. It returns symbol.
If symbol has a dynamic local binding,
makunboundvoids the current binding, and this voidness lasts only as long as the local binding is in effect. Afterwards, the previously shadowed local or global binding is reexposed; then the variable will no longer be void, unless the reexposed binding is void too.
Here are some examples (assuming dynamic binding is in effect):(setq x 1) ; Put a value in the global binding. ⇒ 1 (let ((x 2)) ; Locally bind it. (makunbound 'x) ; Void the local binding. x) error--> Symbol's value as variable is void: x x ; The global binding is unchanged. ⇒ 1 (let ((x 2)) ; Locally bind it. (let ((x 3)) ; And again. (makunbound 'x) ; Void the innermost-local binding. x)) ; And refer: it's void. error--> Symbol's value as variable is void: x (let ((x 2)) (let ((x 3)) (makunbound 'x)) ; Void inner binding, then remove it. x) ; Now outer
letbinding is visible. ⇒ 2
This function returns
tif variable (a symbol) is not void, and
nilif it is void.
Here are some examples (assuming dynamic binding is in effect):(boundp 'abracadabra) ; Starts out void. ⇒ nil (let ((abracadabra 5)) ; Locally bind it. (boundp 'abracadabra)) ⇒ t (boundp 'abracadabra) ; Still globally void. ⇒ nil (setq abracadabra 5) ; Make it globally nonvoid. ⇒ 5 (boundp 'abracadabra) ⇒ t