|Contents||One or more DT or DD elements|
|Contained in||APPLET, BLOCKQUOTE, BODY, BUTTON, CENTER, DD, DEL, DIV, FIELDSET, FORM, IFRAME, INS, LI, MAP, NOFRAMES, NOSCRIPT, OBJECT, TD, TH|
The DL element defines a definition list. An entry in the list is created using the DT element for the term being defined and the DD element for the definition of the term.
A definition list can have multiple terms for a given definition as well as multiple definitions for a given term. Authors can also give a term without a corresponding definition, and vice versa, but such a structure rarely makes sense.
An example follows:
<DL> <DT>Block-level elements</DT> <DD> <P> In HTML, block-level elements may generally contain inline elements and other block-level elements. They are usually formatted differently than inline elements, typically on a new line in visual browsers. </P> </DD> <DT>Inline elements</DT> <DT>Text-level elements</DT> <DD> <P> Inline (or text-level) elements generally only contain character data and other inline elements. </P> </DD> </DL>
The DL element can be adapted for use with structures that are not strict terms and definitions, a practice that is justified when other HTML elements cannot adequately describe a structure. Some examples follow:
<H1>Community Calendar</H1> <DL CLASS=calendar> <DT>March 8</DT> <DD> The Symphony Orchestra presents <CITE>A Rising Star</CITE> at the Anderson Center. Call 555-1234 for details. </DD> <DT>March 10</DT> <DD> Bereaved Families Support Night, 7:00 to 9:00 at 523 Main <ABBR TITLE=Street>St.</ABBR> </DD> </DL>
<DL CLASS=play> <DT>Brutus</DT> <DD CLASS="role Brutus"> <P> I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Caesar;<BR> Desiring thee that Publius Cimber may<BR> Have an immediate freedom of repeal. </P> </DD> <DT>Caesar</DT> <DD CLASS="role Caesar"> <P> What, Brutus! </P> </DD> <DT>Cassius</DT> <DD CLASS="role Cassius"> <P> Pardon, Caesar; Caesar, pardon:<BR> As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fall,<BR> To beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber. </P> </DD> </DL>
Note the use of the CLASS attribute in the preceding examples. This allows the author to easily suggest, through style sheets, a distinguishing presentation for different kinds of definition lists.
In addition to the common attributes shared by most elements, DL takes a COMPACT attribute. This attribute, deprecated in HTML 4 and poorly supported among browsers, suggests that visual browsers render the list compactly, perhaps with reduced spacing between items.