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:only-child

The :only-child CSS pseudo-class represents an element without any siblings. This is the same as :first-child:last-child or :nth-child(1):nth-last-child(1), but with a lower specificity.

/* Selects each <p>, but only if it is the */
/* only child of its parent */
p:only-child {
  background-color: lime;
}

Note: As originally defined, the selected element had to have a parent. Beginning with Selectors Level 4, this is no longer required.

Syntax

:only-child

Examples

Basic example

HTML

<div>
  <div>I am an only child.</div>
</div>

<div>
  <div>I am the 1st sibling.</div>
  <div>I am the 2nd sibling.</div>
  <div>I am the 3rd sibling, <div>but this is an only child.</div></div>
</div>

CSS

div:only-child {
  color: red;
}

div {
  display: inline-block;
  margin: 6px;
  outline: 1px solid;
}

Result

A list example

HTML

<ol>
  <li>First
    <ul>
      <li>This list has just one element.</li>
    </ul>
  </li>
  <li>Second
    <ul>
      <li>This list has three elements.</li>
      <li>This list has three elements.</li>
      <li>This list has three elements.</li>
    </ul>
  </li>
</ol>

CSS

li li {
  list-style-type: disc;
}

li:only-child {
  color: red;
  list-style-type: square;
}

Result

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
Selectors Level 4
The definition of ':only-child' in that specification.
Working Draft Matching elements are not required to have a parent.
Selectors Level 3
The definition of ':only-child' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibilityUpdate compatibility data on GitHub

Desktop
Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari
:only-child 2 12 1.5 9 9.5 3.1
Matches elements with no parent 57 79 52 No 44 No
Mobile
Android webview Chrome for Android Firefox for Android Opera for Android Safari on iOS Samsung Internet
:only-child ≤37 18 4 10.1 3.1 1.0
Matches elements with no parent 57 57 52 43 No 7.0

See also

© 2005–2020 Mozilla and individual contributors.
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License v2.5 or later.
https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/:only-child