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This is referred to as an adjacent selector or next-sibling selector. It will select only the specified element that immediately follows the former specified element.


former_element + target_element { style properties }


li:first-of-type + li {
  color: red;

Another use case might be styling of "caption span"s of the following <img> elements:

img + span.caption {
  font-style: italic;

will match the following <span> elements:

<img src="photo1.jpg"><span class="caption">The first photo</span>
<img src="photo2.jpg"><span class="caption">The second photo</span>


Specification Status Comment
Selectors Level 4
The definition of 'next-sibling combinator' in that specification.
Working Draft  
Selectors Level 3
The definition of 'Adjacent sibling combinator' in that specification.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'Adjacent sibling selectors' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) 7.0[1] (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support 2.1 (Yes) (Yes) ? (Yes) (Yes)

[1] Internet Explorer 7 doesn't update the style correctly when an element is dynamically placed before an element that matched the selector. In Internet Explorer 8, if an element is inserted dynamically by clicking on a link the first-child style isn't applied until the link loses focus.

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: KadirTopal,