HTML <dt> Tag

By Jonathan Griffin. Editor, SEO Consultant, & Developer.

· 2 min read

Definition

The <dt> tag is used to display the definition term alongside a definition description (<dd>) in a definition list (<dl>).

Example

<dl>
    <dt>HTML</dt>
    <dd>HTML is short for Hypertext Markup Language and is the standard markup 
    language used when creating web pages.</dd>
    <dt>HTML Comments</dt>
    <dd>HTML comments are comments in your source code inserted using a HTML 
    comment Tag.</dd>
</dl>

Usage

  • The <dt> can be used after either <dt> or <dd> elements that fall within a <dl> element.
  • It can also be used after either <dt> or <dd> elements that fall within a <div> element that is a child of a <dl> element.
  • A start tag is required.
  • The end tag may be omitted if the <dt> element is immediately followed by another <dd> or <dt> element.
  • When used with a <dl> element, the <dt> element does not necessarily represent the term being defined. For this, you should use <dfn>.
  • Multiple defined terms (<dt> elements) may be represented by a singular definition description (<dd>). For example:
        <dl>
      <dt lang="en-us"><dfn>Color</dfn></dt>
      <dt lang="en-gb"><dfn>Colour</dfn></dt>
      <dd>The ability to derive a visual sensation arising from an 
      analysis of three different filtered views.</dd>
    </dl>
        

Attributes

The <dt> element only supports the Global Attributes.

Best Practices

  • You may want to wrap each pair of <dt> and <dd> tags in a <div> to aid styling. For example:
    <dl>
      <div class="styleMe">
        <dt>HTML</dt>
        <dd>HTML is short for Hypertext Markup Language and is the standard markup 
        language used when creating web pages.</dd>
      </div>
      <div class="styleMe">
        <dt>HTML Comments</dt>
        <dd>HTML comments are comments in your source code inserted using a HTML 
        comment Tag.</dd>
      </div>
    </dl>
  • Try to make the nature of the relationship clear between list items in the group as some screen readers announce each <dl> content as a list.

Specification

Browser Support

Desktop

ChromeEdgeFirefoxIEOperaSafari
YesYesYesYesYesYes

Mobile

Android WebviewChrome AndroidFirefox AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
YesYesYesYesYesYes