CSS animation-delay

The CSS animation-delay property allows you to specify how long the animation should wait until it starts playing.

Using the animation-delay property, you define the delay by specifying the number of seconds or milliseconds it should take before playing. For example, specifying a value of 5s will result in the animation starting 5 seconds after it has been applied.

Syntax

animation-delay:  <time> [, <time>]*

Possible Values

<time>

Defines the time offset before the animation begins.

You define the delay by specifying the number of seconds or milliseconds it should take before playing. For example, specifying a value of 0s will result in the animation starting immediately. Specifying 3s will cause it to wait until 3 seconds, while 350ms will cause it to start in 350 milliseconds. Specifying a negative value will result in the animation starting immediately, but part-way through - as though it had started earlier.

In addition, all CSS properties also accept the following CSS-wide keyword values as the sole component of their property value:

initial
Represents the value specified as the property's initial value.
inherit
Represents the computed value of the property on the element's parent.
unset
This value acts as either inherit or initial, depending on whether the property is inherited or not. In other words, it sets all properties to their parent value if they are inheritable or to their initial value if not inheritable.

Basic Property Information

Initial Value
0s
Applies To
All elements, and the :before and :after pseudo elements
Inherited?
No
Media
Visual

Example Code

Basic CSS

animation-delay: 3s;

Working Example within an HTML Document

<!DOCTYPE html>
<title>Example</title>
<style>
.springy-text {
  color: white;
  animation-name: springy-text;
  animation-duration: 1s;
  animation-timing-function: cubic-bezier(0.25, 0.1, 0.25, 3.0);
  animation-delay: 1s;
  animation-iteration-count: 1;
  animation-direction: normal;
  animation-fill-mode: forwards;
}
@keyframes springy-text {
0%   {
  letter-spacing: 1.2em;
  color: white;
  }
100%   {
  letter-spacing: 0.1em;
  color: orange;
  }
}
</style>
<h3 class="springy-text">Animations!</h3>

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CSS Specifications

Browser Support

The following table provided by Caniuse.com shows the level of browser support for this feature.

Vendor Prefixes

For maximum browser compatibility many web developers add browser-specific properties by using extensions such as -webkit- for Safari, Google Chrome, and Opera (newer versions), -ms- for Internet Explorer, -moz- for Firefox, -o- for older versions of Opera etc. As with any CSS property, if a browser doesn't support a proprietary extension, it will simply ignore it.

This practice is not recommended by the W3C, however in many cases, the only way you can test a property is to include the CSS extension that is compatible with your browser.

The major browser manufacturers generally strive to adhere to the W3C specifications, and when they support a non-prefixed property, they typically remove the prefixed version. Also, W3C advises vendors to remove their prefixes for properties that reach Candidate Recommendation status.

Many developers use Autoprefixer, which is a postprocessor for CSS. Autoprefixer automatically adds vendor prefixes to your CSS so that you don't need to. It also removes old, unnecessary prefixes from your CSS.

You can also use Autoprefixer with preprocessors such as Less and Sass.