<option>: The HTML Option element

The <option> HTML element is used to define an item contained in a <select>, an <optgroup>, or a <datalist> element. As such, <option> can represent menu items in popups and other lists of items in an HTML document.

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This element includes the global attributes.


If this Boolean attribute is set, this option is not checkable. Often browsers grey out such control and it won't receive any browsing event, like mouse clicks or focus-related ones. If this attribute is not set, the element can still be disabled if one of its ancestors is a disabled <optgroup> element.


This attribute is text for the label indicating the meaning of the option. If the label attribute isn't defined, its value is that of the element text content.


If present, this Boolean attribute indicates that the option is initially selected. If the <option> element is the descendant of a <select> element whose multiple attribute is not set, only one single <option> of this <select> element may have the selected attribute.


The content of this attribute represents the value to be submitted with the form, should this option be selected. If this attribute is omitted, the value is taken from the text content of the option element.

Styling with CSS

Styling the <option> element is highly limited. Options don't inherit the font set on the parent. In Firefox, only color and background-color can be set, however in Chrome and Safari it's not possible to set any properties. You can find more details about styling in our guide to advanced form styling.


See <select> for examples.

Technical summary

Content categories None.
Permitted content Text, possibly with escaped characters (like &eacute;).
Tag omission The start tag is mandatory. The end tag is optional if this element is immediately followed by another <option> element or an <optgroup>, or if the parent element has no more content.
Permitted parents A <select>, an <optgroup> or a <datalist> element.
Implicit ARIA role option
Permitted ARIA roles No role permitted
DOM interface HTMLOptionElement


HTML Standard
# the-option-element

Browser compatibility

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See also