The child combinator (>) is placed between two CSS selectors. It matches only those elements matched by the second selector that are the children of elements matched by the first.

/* List items that are children of the "my-things" list */
ul.my-things > li {
  margin: 2em;
}

Elements matched by the second selector must be the immediate children of the elements matched by the first selector. This is stricter than the descendant selector, which matches all elements matched by the second selector for which there exists an ancestor element matched by the first selector, regardless of the number of "hops" up the DOM.

Syntax

selector1 > selector2 { style properties }

Example

CSS

span {
  background-color: white;
}

div > span {
  background-color: DodgerBlue;
}

HTML

<div>
  <span>Span #1, in the div.
    <span>Span #2, in the span that's in the div.</span>
  </span>
</div>
<span>Span #3, not in the div at all.</span>

Result

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
Selectors Level 4
The definition of 'child combinator' in that specification.
Working Draft  
Selectors Level 3
The definition of 'child combinators' in that specification.
Recommendation No change.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'child 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 (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support ? (Yes) ? ? ? ?

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: mfluehr,