HTML <dd> Tag

The HTML <dd> tag represents the description in a description list. More precisely, the <dd> element represents the description, definition, or value, part of a term-description group in a description list.

In a description list (also known as an association list or a definition list), each list item contains two or more entries; a term (dt) and a description (dd).

Note that a definition term can be linked to more than one description. There can also be multiple terms for a single description (for example, in the case where there are multiple spellings of a term being defined). In this case, each term must be enclosed in its own set of dt tags (there shouldn't be any more than one term within a single dt element).


The <dd> tag is written as <dd></dd> with the definition description inserted between the start and end tag.

The tag must be used inside a <dl> element, and must follow either a <dt> element or another <dd> element.

Like this:


Basic tag usage

Here's an example of a basic description list.

Using dfn to Define a Term

The dt element does not indicate that its contents are a term being defined. To indicate the defining instance of a term, use the dfn element.

Multiple Terms

Here's an example of using multiple <dt> elements for a single <dd> element.

Multiple <dd> Elements

You can have more than one <dd> element for each <dt> element (any given term could have multiple definitions). Each <dd> element provides a separate description.

In this example, I've added the CSS margin-bottom property to the <dd> element so that there's a small space between each definition description.

Nested Lists

You can have nested description lists if your descriptions are more complex. You can also have paragraphs and other elements.

In fact, the <dd> element can contain "flow content" so you can nest most other elements inside the <dd> element ("flow content" refers to most HTML elements that can appear within the <body> of an HTML document).

Here's an example of a description list that contains a <p> element, an ordered (<ol>) and unordered list (<ul>) among its definition descriptions.


Attributes can be added to an HTML element to provide more information about how the element should appear or behave.

The <dd> element accepts the following attributes.


Global Attributes

The following attributes are standard across all HTML elements. Therefore, you can use these attributes with the <dd> tag , as well as with all other HTML tags.

For a full explanation of these attributes, see HTML 5 global attributes.

Event Handlers

Event handler content attributes enable you to invoke a script from within your HTML. The script is invoked when a certain "event" occurs. Each event handler content attribute deals with a different event.

Most event handler content attributes can be used on all HTML elements, but some event handlers have specific rules around when they can be used and which elements they are applicable to.

For more detail, see HTML event handler content attributes.