The global aria-description attribute defines a string value that describes or annotates the current element.


The global aria-description attribute provides a mechanism for the developer to describe or annotate the current element providing greater context for assistive technology users.

<div role="application" aria-label="calendar" 
     aria-description="Game schedule for the Boston Red Sox 2021 Season">
    <h1>Red Sox 2021</h1>
    <div role="grid">

The aria-description attribute is similar to aria-label in that both provide a text string to associate with the element, but a label should be short and concise, while the description can be longer as it is intended to provide more context and information.

The aria-description and aria-describedby properties have the same purpose; both provide the user with additional descriptive text for the object on which it is set. If descriptive text is available in the DOM, use use aria-describedby instead.

The aria-description property should only be used when providing a visible description is not the desired user experience. The aria-describedby attribute takes as its value a list of ids of the elements that contain descriptive text about the object. The aria-description is used when there is no appropriate descriptive text that can be associated with the object by id reference. If both attributes are present, aria-describedby takes precedence in defining the accessible description property.

The content of the description, whether set by aria-description or aria-describedby, should be flat text. If the content is very long, has semantic meaning requirements, or has a navigational structure, use aria-details instead.



The value is a string, an unconstrained value type, that is intended to be conveyed to the assistive technology user.



The ariaDescription property, part of the Element interface, reflects the value of the aria-description attribute, which defines a string value that describes or annotates the current element.

Associated roles

Used in ALL roles.


Specification Status
Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.1
The definition of 'ARIA: aria-description Attribute' in that specification.

See Also