<div>: The Content Division element

The <div> HTML element is the generic container for flow content. It has no effect on the content or layout until styled in some way using CSS (e.g. styling is directly applied to it, or some kind of layout model like Flexbox is applied to its parent element).

Try it

As a "pure" container, the <div> element does not inherently represent anything. Instead, it's used to group content so it can be easily styled using the class or id attributes, marking a section of a document as being written in a different language (using the lang attribute), and so on.


This element includes the global attributes.

Note: The align attribute is obsolete; do not use it anymore. Instead, you should use CSS properties or techniques such as CSS Grid or CSS Flexbox to align and position <div> elements on the page.

Usage notes

  • The <div> element should be used only when no other semantic element (such as <article> or <nav>) is appropriate.


The <div> element has an implicit role of generic, and not none. This may affect certain ARIA combination declarations that expect a direct descendant element with a certain role to function properly.


A simple example

    Any kind of content here. Such as &lt;p&gt;, &lt;table&gt;. You name it!


A styled example

This example creates a shadowed box by applying a style to the <div> using CSS. Note the use of the class attribute on the <div> to apply the style named "shadowbox" to the element.


<div class="shadowbox">
  <p>Here's a very interesting note displayed in a lovely shadowed box.</p>


.shadowbox {
  width: 15em;
  border: 1px solid #333;
  box-shadow: 8px 8px 5px #444;
  padding: 8px 12px;
  background-image: linear-gradient(180deg, #fff, #ddd 40%, #ccc);


Technical summary

Content categories Flow content, palpable content.
Permitted content Flow content.
Or (in WHATWG HTML): If the parent is a <dl> element: one or more <dt> elements followed by one or more <dd> elements, optionally intermixed with <script> and <template> elements.
Tag omission None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.
Permitted parents Any element that accepts flow content.
Or (in WHATWG HTML): <dl> element.
Implicit ARIA role generic
Permitted ARIA roles Any
DOM interface HTMLDivElement


HTML Standard
# the-div-element

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also