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HTML Description List OR HTML Definition List

HTML Description List or Definition List displays elements in definition form like in dictionary.

The <dl>, <dt> and <dd> tags are used to define description list.

The <dl> tag is used in conjunction with <dt> (defines terms/names) and <dd> (describes each term/name).

The 3 HTML description list tags are given below:

  1. <dl> tag defines the description list.
  2. <dt> tag defines data term.
  3. <dd> tag defines data definition (description).

When to use HTML Description List OR HTML Definition List?

Common uses for this element are to implement a glossary or to display metadata (a list of key-value pairs).

Definition lists are typically formatted with the term on the left with the definition following on the right or on the next line.

A definition list is a list of terms and corresponding definitions.

The definition text is typically indented with respect to the term.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">

<head>
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge">
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
    <title>HTML Description List | HTML Definition List Example</title>
</head>

<body>
    <dl>
        <dt>HTML</dt>
        <dd>is a markup language</dd>
        <dt>Java</dt>
        <dd>is a programming language and platform</dd>
        <dt>JavaScript</dt>
        <dd>is a scripting language</dd>
        <dt>SQL</dt>
        <dd>is a query language</dd>
        <dt>PHP</dt>
        <dd>PHP is a general-purpose scripting language geared towards web development.</dd>
    </dl>
</body>

</html>
HTML Description List OR HTML Definition List Example

Notes

Do not use this element (nor <ul> elements) to merely create indentation on a page. It is a bad practice and obscures the meaning of description lists. Each screen reader announces <dl> content differently. To change the indentation of a description term, use the CSS margin property.