The background-repeat CSS property defines how background images are repeated. A background image can be repeated along the horizontal axis, the vertical axis, both axes, or not repeated at all.

/* One-value syntax */
background-repeat: repeat-x;
background-repeat: repeat-y;
background-repeat: repeat;
background-repeat: space;
background-repeat: round;
background-repeat: no-repeat;

/* Two-value syntax: horizontal | vertical */
background-repeat: repeat space;
background-repeat: repeat repeat;
background-repeat: round space;
background-repeat: no-repeat round;

/* Global values */
background-repeat: inherit;
background-repeat: initial;
background-repeat: unset;

By default, the repeated images are clipped to the size of the element, but they can be scaled to fit (using round) or evenly distributed from end to end (using space).

Initial valuerepeat
Applies toall elements. It also applies to ::first-letter and ::first-line.
Inheritedno
Mediavisual
Computed valuea list, each item consisting of two keywords, one per dimension
Animation typediscrete
Canonical orderthe unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar

Syntax

Values

<repeat-style>
The one-value syntax is a shorthand for the full two-value syntax:
Single value Two-value equivalent
repeat-x repeat no-repeat
repeat-y no-repeat repeat
repeat repeat repeat
space space space
round round round
no-repeat no-repeat no-repeat
In the two-value syntax, the first value represents the horizontal repetition behavior and the second value represents the vertical behavior. Here is an explanation of how each option works for either direction:
repeat The image is repeated as much as needed to cover the whole background image painting area. The last image will be clipped if it doesn't fit.
space The image is repeated as much as possible without clipping. The first and last images are pinned to either side of the element, and whitespace is distributed evenly between the images. The background-position property is ignored unless only one image can be displayed without clipping. The only case where clipping happens using space is when there isn't enough room to display one image.
round As the allowed space increases in size, the repeated images will stretch (leaving no gaps) until there is room (space left >= half of the image width) for another one to be added. When the next image is added, all of the current ones compress to allow room. Example: An image with an original width of 260px, repeated three times, might stretch until each repetition is 300px wide, and then another image will be added. They will then compress to 225px.
no-repeat The image is not repeated (and hence the background image painting area will not necessarily be entirely covered). The position of the non-repeated background image is defined by the background-position CSS property.

Formal syntax

<repeat-style>#

where
<repeat-style> = repeat-x | repeat-y | [ repeat | space | round | no-repeat ]{1,2}

Examples

HTML

<ol>
  <li>no-repeat
    <div class="one"></div>
  </li>
  <li>repeat
    <div class="two"></div>
  </li>
  <li>repeat-x
    <div class="three"></div>
  </li>
  <li>repeat-y
    <div class="four"></div>
  </li>
  <li>space
    <div class="five"></div>
  </li>
  <li>round
    <div class="six"></div>
  </li>
  <li>repeat-x, repeat-y (multiple images)
    <div class="seven"></div>
  </li>
</ol>

CSS

/* Shared for all DIVS in example */
ol,
li {
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
}
li {
  margin-bottom: 12px;
}
div {
    background-image: url(https://mdn.mozillademos.org/files/12005/starsolid.gif);
    width: 160px;
    height: 70px;
}

/* Background repeats */
.one {
  background-repeat: no-repeat;
}
.two {
  background-repeat: repeat;
}
.three {
  background-repeat: repeat-x;
}
.four {
  background-repeat: repeat-y;
}
.five {
  background-repeat: space;
}
.six {
  background-repeat: round;
}

/* Multiple images */
.seven {
  background-image:  url(https://mdn.mozillademos.org/files/12005/starsolid.gif),
                     url(https://developer.cdn.mozilla.net/media/redesign/img/favicon32.png);
  background-repeat: repeat-x,
                     repeat-y;
  height: 144px;
}

Result

In this example, each list item is matched with a different value of background-repeat.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Backgrounds and Borders Module Level 3
The definition of 'background-repeat' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Adds support for multiple background images, the two-value syntax allowing distinct repetition behavior for the horizontal and vertical directions, the space and round keywords, and for backgrounds on inline-level elements by precisely defining the background painting area.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'background-repeat' in that specification.
Recommendation No significant changes.
CSS Level 1
The definition of 'background-repeat' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support112143.51
Multiple backgrounds1123.6910.51.3
Two-value syntax (different values for x & y directions) Yes12139 Yes Yes
round and space keywords Yes1249910.5 Yes
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidIE mobileOpera AndroidiOS Safari
Basic support ? ? Yes4 ? ? ?
Multiple backgrounds ? ? Yes Yes ? ? ?
Two-value syntax (different values for x & y directions) ? ? Yes14 ? ? ?
round and space keywords ? ? Yes49 ? ? ?

See also