dl – description list
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For technical reasons, the title of this article is not the text used to call this API. Instead, use
<dl> element is used to define a description list. The element encloses one or more description terms, enclosed in
<dt> elements, and description definitions (definitions of the terms), enclosed within
|Permitted contents||One of the following:|
|Permitted parents||Any element that can contain flow content.|
<dl> element is often useful to create a semantic list of terms and their definitions, whether these are name value pairs, glossary terms and definitions, or anything other items that fit this pattern. Description lists allow you to do this easily inside HTML.
A description list is always wrapped by a single
<dl> element. Inside that element you can place any number of child description items — the items to be described or defined — inside
<dt> elements, and description definitions — the description or definition of the specified items — inside
It doesn't make sense to have an item without a description, or the other way round, but note that it is acceptable to have a single item with multiple descriptions, or a description with multiple items (see code examples section.)
The items should always be placed before the descriptions.
A description list is not used as commonly as other types of list, except in journals, research papers, and other documentation where item/value pairs need to be displayed. For other uses, they are often not used as they are considered more difficult to style than other list types.
View live exampleThe example shows a simple definition list with two item/description pairs.
<dl> <dt>Coffee</dt> <dd>A popular hot drink.</dd> <dt>Coca Cola</dt> <dd>One of the leading brands of a popular cold fizzy drink.</dd> </dl>
View live exampleThe example shows a definition list with a single item but multiple descriptions for that item.
<dl> <dt>Coffee</dt> <dd>A popular hot drink.</dd> <dd>A mid brown colour</dd> <dd>A common social invitation</dd> </dl>
View live exampleThe example shows a definition list with a single description and multiple items fitting that description.
<dl> <dt>Coffee</dt> <dt>Tea</dt> <dt>Vimto (in the North of England)</dt> <dd>A popular hot drink.</dd> </dl>
Typical browser default CSS properties for the
display: block; margin-top: 16px; margin-bottom: 16px;
|HTML 4.01||W3C Recommendation|
|HTML 5.1||W3C Editor's Draft||In HTML5, definition list has been changed to description list|
|Feature||Chrome||Firefox (Gecko)||Internet Explorer||Opera||Safari|
|Feature||Android||BlackBerry||Chrome for mobile||Firefox Mobile (Gecko)||IE Mobile||Opera Mobile||Opera Mini||Safari Mobile|
- dl – description list