The <dt> tag is used to denote a term in the list of definitions/descriptions (learn more about HTML lists). It is used together with the <dd> and <dl> tags. The <dl> tag creates a list, and the <dd> gives a description/definition of the term. In the description list for each group, there should be at least one <dt> tag that is followed by at least one <dd> tag.


The <dt> tag comes in pairs. The content is written between the opening (<dt>) and closing (</dt>) tags.

Example of the HTML <dt> tag:

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>Title of the document</title>
      <dd>A system of text pages that have cross-references.</dd>
      <dd>A part of a hypertext document that references another item.</dd>


dt tag example


The <dt> tag supports the Global attributes and the Event Attributes.

How to style <dt> tag?

Common properties to alter the visual weight/emphasis/size of text in <dt> tag:

  • CSS font-style property sets the style of the font. normal | italic | oblique | initial | inherit.
  • CSS font-family property specifies a prioritized list of one or more font family names and/or generic family names for the selected element.
  • CSS font-size property sets the size of the font.
  • CSS font-weight property defines whether the font should be bold or thick.
  • CSS text-transform property controls text case and capitalization.
  • CSS text-decoration property specifies the decoration added to text, and is a shorthand property for text-decoration-line, text-decoration-color, text-decoration-style.

Coloring text in <dt> tag:

  • CSS color property describes the color of the text content and text decorations.
  • CSS background-color property sets the background color of an element.

Text layout styles for <dt> tag:

  • CSS text-indent property specifies the indentation of the first line in a text block.
  • CSS text-overflow property specifies how overflowed content that is not displayed should be signalled to the user.
  • CSS white-space property specifies how white-space inside an element is handled.
  • CSS word-break property specifies where the lines should be broken.

Other properties worth looking at for <dt> tag:

Browser support

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