I'd like to declare some new operators using \DeclareMathOperator and some of the names are already taken by other commands (that I do not want to use). Is there an equivalent to the \renewcommand command for \DeclareMathOperator or a different way to overwrite the commands using \DeclareMathOperator?

  • 3
    if the names you want to re-use are names of operators or symbols, that's probably safe. but beware of command names like \span which is used "under the covers" as a structural modifier in tables and alignments. you could get some very bad surprises from redefining that command. also, redefining the single-letter commands for accents could make your (or an editor's) life miserable if such accents appear in names in a bibliography. May 5, 2014 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


No interface for this has been provided, which I believe is a mistake. A simple workaround is to remove the definition of the command before redeclaring it:

\DeclareMathOperator{\ln}{log} % this is how the logarithm should be denoted

A \RedeclareMathOperator command could be defined as follows


% this is taken from \renew@command
  \begingroup \escapechar\m@ne\xdef\@gtempa{{\string#1}}\endgroup
% This is just \@declmathop without \@ifdefinable

\DeclareMathOperator{\ln}{log} % gives error
\RedeclareMathOperator{\ln}{log} % is accepted
\RedeclareMathOperator{\foo}{foo} % gives error
\RedeclareMathOperator*{\deg}{deg} % now \deg typesets limits below and above

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