The mouseleave event is fired when the pointer of a pointing device (usually a mouse) is moved out of an element that has the listener attached to it.

Bubbles No
Cancelable No
Interface MouseEvent
Event handler property onmouseleave

mouseleave and mouseout are similar but differ in that mouseleave does not bubble and mouseout does.
This means that mouseleave is fired when the pointer has exited the element and all of its descendants, whereas mouseout is fired when the pointer leaves the element or leaves one of the element's descendants (even if the pointer is still within the element).

mouseenter.png mouseover.png
One mouseleave event is sent to each element of the hierarchy when leaving them. Here 4 events are sent to the four elements of the hierarchy when the pointer moves from the text to an area outside of the most outer div represented here. One single mouseout event is sent to the deepest element of the DOM tree, then it bubbles up the hierarchy until it is canceled by a handler or reaches the root.


The mouseout documentation has an example illustrating the difference between mouseout and mouseleave.

The following example illustrates how to use mouseout, to simulate the principle of event delegation for the mouseleave event.

<ul id="test">
    <ul class="leave-sensitive">
      <li>item 1-1</li>
      <li>item 1-2</li>
    <ul class="leave-sensitive">
      <li>item 2-1</li>
      <li>item 2-2</li>

  var delegationSelector = ".leave-sensitive";

  document.getElementById("test").addEventListener("mouseout", function( event ) {
    var target =,
        related = event.relatedTarget,

    // search for a parent node matching the delegation selector
    while ( target && target != document && !( match = matches( target, delegationSelector ) ) ) {
        target = target.parentNode;

    // exit if no matching node has been found
    if ( !match ) { return; }

    // loop through the parent of the related target to make sure that it's not a child of the target
    while ( related && related != target && related != document ) {
        related = related.parentNode;

    // exit if this is the case
    if ( related == target ) { return; }

    // the "delegated mouseleave" handler can now be executed
    // change the color of the text = "orange";
    // reset the color after a small amount of time
    setTimeout(function() { = "";
    }, 500);
  }, false);
  // function used to check if a DOM element matches a given selector
  // the following code can be replaced by this IE8 compatible function:
  function matches( elem, selector ){
    // the matchesSelector is prefixed in most (if not all) browsers
    return elem.matchesSelector( selector );


Specification Status
UI Events
The definition of 'mouseleave' in that specification.
Working Draft
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 3 Events Specification
The definition of 'mouseleave' in that specification.

Browser compatibility

No compatibility data found. Please contribute data for "api.Element.mouseleave" (depth: 1) to the MDN compatibility data repository.

See also