How can I find out the default value of a variable if it is not set? For example, the default timeout for the leader key is controlled by the timeoutlen variable, but if I do:

:echo timeoutlen

I get an "undefined variable" error. Is there any command to find out default values for variables like this?

  • 1
    I believe timeoutlen is an option, not a variable. Read the help on options. Try :set timeoutlen?
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Aug 12, 2017 at 18:44

2 Answers 2


For options, you can use the special syntax &optionname to echo its value. This is described in the help at :h expr-option

So you would want to do: :echo &timeoutlen


You could type :set {option}? to show the value of an option.

If you want to inspect where it was defined:

:verbose set timeoutlen?

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