<cite>: The Citation element

The <cite> HTML element is used to mark up the title of a cited creative work. The reference may be in an abbreviated form according to context-appropriate conventions related to citation metadata.

Try it


This element only includes the global attributes.

Usage notes

In the context of the <cite> element, a creative work that might be cited could be, for example, one of the following:

  • A book
  • A research paper
  • An essay
  • A poem
  • A musical score
  • A song
  • A play or film script
  • A film
  • A television show
  • A game
  • A sculpture
  • A painting
  • A theatrical production
  • A play
  • An opera
  • A musical
  • An exhibition
  • A legal case report
  • A computer program
  • A website
  • A web page
  • A blog post or comment
  • A forum post or comment
  • A tweet
  • A Facebook post
  • A written or oral statement
  • And so forth.

To include a reference to the source of quoted material which is contained within a <blockquote> or <q> element, use the cite attribute on the element.

Typically, browsers style the contents of a <cite> element in italics by default. To avoid this, apply the CSS font-style property to the <cite> element.



<p>More information can be found in <cite>[ISO-0000]</cite>.</p>


Technical summary

Content categories Flow content, phrasing content, palpable content.
Permitted content Phrasing content.
Tag omission None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.
Permitted parents Any element that accepts phrasing content.
Implicit ARIA role No corresponding role
Permitted ARIA roles Any
DOM interface HTMLElement Up to Gecko 1.9.2 (Firefox 4) inclusive, Firefox implements the HTMLSpanElement interface for this element.


Browser compatibility

Desktop Mobile
Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari WebView Android Chrome Android Firefox for Android Opera Android Safari on IOS Samsung Internet
cite 1 12 1 Yes 15 ≤4 4.4 18 4 14 ≤3.2 1.0

See also

  • The element <blockquote> for long quotations.
  • The element <q> for inline quotations and the cite attribute.

© 2005–2023 MDN contributors.
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License v2.5 or later.