The Element.closest() method returns the closest ancestor of the current element (or the current element itself) which matches the selectors given in parameter. If there isn't such an ancestor, it returns null.

Syntax

var elt = element.closest(selectors); 

Parameters

  • selectors is a DOMString containing a selector list like "p:hover, .toto + q"
  • element is the Element at the top of the tree of elements to be dealt with.

Result value

  • elt is the Element which is the closest ancestor of the selected elements. It may be null.

Exceptions

  • SyntaxError is thrown if the selectors is not a valid selector list string.

Example

<article>
  <div id="div-01">Here is div-01
    <div id="div-02">Here is div-02
      <div id="div-03">Here is div-03</div>
    </div>
  </div>
</article>
var el = document.getElementById('div-03');

var r1 = el.closest("#div-02");  
// returns the element with the id=div-02

var r2 = el.closest("div div");  
// returns the closest ancestor which is a div in div, here is div-03 itself

var r3 = el.closest("article > div");  
// returns the closest ancestor which is a div and has a parent article, here is div-01

var r4 = el.closest(":not(div)");
// returns the closest ancestor which is not a div, here is the outmost article

Polyfill

For browsers that do not support Element.closest(), but carry support for element.matches() (or a prefixed equivalent, meaning IE9+), a polyfill exists:

if (!Element.prototype.matches)
    Element.prototype.matches = Element.prototype.msMatchesSelector || 
                                Element.prototype.webkitMatchesSelector;

if (!Element.prototype.closest) {
    Element.prototype.closest = function(s) {
        var el = this;
        if (!document.documentElement.contains(el)) return null;
        do {
            if (el.matches(s)) return el;
            el = el.parentElement || el.parentNode;
        } while (el !== null && el.nodeType === 1); 
        return null;
    };
}

However, if you really do require IE 8 support, then the following polyfill will do the job very slowly, but eventually. However, it will only support CSS 2.1 selectors in IE 8, and it can cause severe lag spikes in production websites.

if (window.Element && !Element.prototype.closest) {
    Element.prototype.closest = 
    function(s) {
        var matches = (this.document || this.ownerDocument).querySelectorAll(s),
            i,
            el = this;
        do {
            i = matches.length;
            while (--i >= 0 && matches.item(i) !== el) {};
        } while ((i < 0) && (el = el.parentElement)); 
        return el;
    };
}

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
DOM
The definition of 'Element.closest()' in that specification.
Living Standard Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
Basic supportChrome Full support 41Edge Full support 15Firefox Full support 35IE No support NoOpera Full support 28Safari Full support 9WebView Android ? Chrome Android ? Edge Mobile ? Firefox Android Full support 35Opera Android ? Safari iOS Full support 9Samsung Internet Android ?

Legend

Full support  
Full support
No support  
No support
Compatibility unknown  
Compatibility unknown

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: nikek,