The :only-child CSS pseudo-class represents an element without any siblings. This is the same as :first-child:last-child or :nth-child(1):nth-last-child(1), but with a lower specificity.

/* Selects each <p>, but only if it is the */
/* only child of its parent */
p:only-child {
  background-color: lime;
}

Note: As originally defined, the selected element had to have a parent. Beginning with Selectors Level 4, this is no longer required.

Syntax

:only-child

Examples

Basic example

HTML

<div>
  <div>I am an only child.</div>
</div>

<div>
  <div>I am the 1st sibling.</div>
  <div>I am the 2nd sibling.</div>
  <div>I am the 3rd sibling, <div>but this is an only child.</div></div>
</div>

CSS

div:only-child {
  color: red;
}

div {
  display: inline-block;
  margin: 6px;
  outline: 1px solid;
}

Result

A list example

HTML

<ol>
  <li>First
    <ul>
      <li>This list has just one element.
    </ul>
  </li>
  <li>Second
    <ul>
      <li>This list has three elements.
      <li>This list has three elements.
      <li>This list has three elements.
    </ul>
  </li>
</ol>

CSS

li li {
  list-style-type: disc;
}

li:only-child {
  color: red;
  list-style-type: square;
}

Result

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
Selectors Level 4
The definition of ':only-child' in that specification.
Working Draft Matching elements are not required to have a parent.
Selectors Level 3
The definition of ':only-child' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic supportChrome Full support 2Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 1.5IE Full support 9Opera Full support 9.5Safari Full support 3.1WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support 10Safari iOS Full support 3.1Samsung Internet Android Full support Yes
Matches elements with no parentChrome Full support 57Edge ? Firefox Full support 52IE ? Opera Full support 44Safari ? WebView Android Full support 57Chrome Android Full support 57Edge Mobile ? Firefox Android Full support 52Opera Android Full support 44Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android Full support 7.0

Legend

Full support  
Full support
Compatibility unknown  
Compatibility unknown

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: dimitarnestorov,