Learning Resources

Definition Lists

A definition list is a list of items, with a description of each item.


tag defines a definition list.

tag is used in conjunction with
(defines the item in the list) and
(describes the item in the list):

  %attrs;                              -- %coreattrs, %i18n, %events --

Start tag: required, End tag: required

  %attrs;                              -- %coreattrs, %i18n, %events --

Start tag: required, End tag: optional

Attributes defined elsewhere

  •     id, class (document-wide identifiers)
  •     lang (language information), dir (text direction)
  •     title (element title)
  •     style (inline style information)
  •     onclick, ondblclick, onmousedown, onmouseup, onmouseover, onmousemove, onmouseout, onkeypress, onkeydown, onkeyup (intrinsic events)

Definition lists vary only slightly from other types of lists in that list items consist of two parts: a term and a description. The term is given by the DT element and is restricted to inline content. The description is given with a DD element that contains block-level content.

Here is an example:


young excitable person who may mature
    into a Nerd or Geek

a clever programmer

technically bright but socially inept person

Here is an example with multiple terms and descriptions:

A point equidistant from all points
              on the surface of a sphere.
In some field sports, the player who
              holds the middle position on the field, court,
              or forward line.

Another application of DL, for example, is for marking up dialogues, with each DT naming a speaker, and each DD containing his or her words.