The > combinator separates two selectors and matches only those elements matched by the second selector that are direct children of elements matched by the first. By contrast, when two selectors are combined with the descendant selector, the combined selector expression matches those 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.


selector1 > selector2 { style properties }


span { background-color: white; }
div > span {
  background-color: DodgerBlue;
  <span>Span #1, in the div.
    <span>Span #2, in the span that's in the div.</span>
<span>Span #3, not in the div at all.</span>


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 Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) 7.0 (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support ? ? ? ? ?

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: waldir,