This page is In Progress

Notice: The WebPlatform project has been discontinued when the Stewards partnership agreement ended in September 2015. This site has been frozen, and the assets we have created will remain.



The cite element represents a reference to a creative work.

Overview Table

DOM Interface

The cite element represents a reference to a creative work. The title of the work or the name of the author (e.g. a person or organization) or a reference to a URL must be enclosed between the opening and closing tags.


This example uses the cite element to render a citation in italic type.

<p>One of my favorite books from literature is
<cite>Invisible Man</cite> by Ralph Ellison.</p>


 The cite element is a phrasing-level element. It must not contain block-level elements, but it can contain other phrasing-level elements.


Prior to HTML5, cite was also used to indicate the source of a quote (e.g. blockquote or q).

Creative works include a book, a paper, an essay, a poem, a score, a song, a script, a film, a TV show, a game, a sculpture, a painting, a theatre production, a play, an opera, a musical, an exhibition, a legal case report, a computer program, a web site, a web page, a blog post or comment, a forum post or comment, a tweet, a written or oral statement, etc.

Related specifications

HTML 5.1
W3C Working Draft
W3C Recommendation
HTML 4.01
W3C Recommendation

See also

Related articles