:parent Selector

parent selector

Description: Select all elements that have at least one child node (either an element or text).

  • version added: 1.0jQuery( ":parent" )

This is the inverse of :empty.

One important thing to note regarding the use of :parent (and :empty) is that child nodes include text nodes.

The W3C recommends that the <p> element have at least one child node, even if that child is merely text (see https://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/text.html#edef-P). Some other elements, on the other hand, are empty (i.e. have no children) by definition: <input>, <img>, <br>, and <hr>, for example.

To obtain the parents or ancestors of an existing jQuery set, see the .parent() and .parents() methods.

Additional Notes:

  • Because :parent is a jQuery extension and not part of the CSS specification, queries using :parent cannot take advantage of the performance boost provided by the native DOM querySelectorAll() method. To achieve the best performance when using :parent to select elements, first select the elements using a pure CSS selector, then use .filter(":parent").


Finds all tds with children, including text.

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
  <meta charset="utf-8">
  <title>parent demo</title>
  td {
    width: 40px;
    background: green;
  <script src="https://code.jquery.com/jquery-3.5.0.js"></script>
<table border="1">
  <tr><td>Value 1</td><td></td></tr>
  <tr><td>Value 2</td><td></td></tr>
$( "td:parent" ).fadeTo( 1500, 0.3 );


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