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quote (Special Operator)

— Special Form: quote object object
Arguments and Values:

object—an object; not evaluated.


The quote special operator just returns object.

The consequences are undefined if literal objects (including quoted objects) are destructively modified.

 (setq a 1)  1
 (quote (setq a 3))  (SETQ A 3)
 a  1
 'a  A
 ''a  (QUOTE A)
 '''a  (QUOTE (QUOTE A))
 (setq a 43)  43
 (list a (cons a 3))  (43 (43 . 3))
 (list (quote a) (quote (cons a 3)))  (A (CONS A 3))
 1  1
 '1  1
 "foo"  "foo"
 '"foo"  "foo"
 (car '(a b))  A
 '(car '(a b))  (CAR (QUOTE (A B)))
 #(car '(a b))  #(CAR (QUOTE (A B)))
 '#(car '(a b))  #(CAR (QUOTE (A B)))
See Also:

Section 3.1 (Evaluation), Section 2.4.3 (Single-Quote), Section 3.2.1 (Compiler Terminology)


The textual notation 'object is equivalent to (quote object); see Section 3.2.1 (Compiler Terminology).

Some objects, called self-evaluating objects, do not require quotation by quote. However, symbols and lists are used to represent parts of programs, and so would not be useable as constant data in a program without quote. Since quote suppresses the evaluation of these objects, they become data rather than program.