How can you abbreviate that?

: The abbreviation element

The HTML abbreviation element () stands for an abbreviation or an acronym. The optional attribute can provide an extension or description for the abbreviation. Include this full description, if any, and nothing else.

The item How to mark abbreviations and make them understandable, is a guide to the use of and related items.


This element only supports the global attributes. The attribute has a certain semantic meaning when used with the element. It got to Include a full human-readable description or extension of the abbreviation. This text is often displayed as a tooltip by browsers when the mouse pointer is moved over the element.

Every element you use is independent of all others; if you specify for one, the same extension text is not automatically appended to another with the same content text.

Usage instructions

Typical use cases

It is certainly not necessary that all abbreviations are marked with. However, there are a few cases when it helps to do this:

  • If an abbreviation is used and you want to provide an extension or definition outside of the document flow, use with an appropriate.
  • To define an abbreviation that the reader may not be familiar with, enclose the term with either an and attribute or inline text that provides the definition.
  • If the presence of an abbreviation in the text has to be semantically noted, the element is helpful. This, in turn, can be used for styling or scripting purposes.
  • You can use with (en-US) to provide definitions for terms that are abbreviations or acronyms. See the Define an Abbreviation example below.

Grammar considerations

In numerical languages ​​(i.e. languages ​​where the number of elements affects the grammar of a sentence), use the same grammatical number in your attribute as in your element. This is particularly important in languages ​​with more than two numbers, such as B. Arabic, but is also relevant in English.

Standard representation

The purpose of this element is for the author only and is displayed inline () by default by all browsers. However, the default setting differs from browser to browser:

  • Some browsers, such as Internet Explorer, display it no differently than the (en-US) element.
  • Opera, Firefox, Chrome, and a few others add a dotted underline to the item's content.
  • Some browsers not only add a dotted underline, but also use it in small caps. To avoid this, add something like to your CSS.


Mark an abbreviation semantically

To mark an abbreviation without specifying an extension or description, just use without attributes, as shown in this example.



Format abbreviations

You can use CSS to set a custom style used for abbreviations, as shown in this simple example.




Provide an extension

By adding an attribute, you can specify an extension or definition for the abbreviation or acronym.



Define an abbreviation

You can use with (en-US) to formally define an abbreviation, as shown here.



For more detailed examples, see the article How to mark abbreviations and make them understandable.


Spelling out the acronym or abbreviation in full on a page the first time it is used will help people understand it, especially if it is technical content or jargon.


This is particularly useful for people who are unfamiliar with the terminology or the terms used, people who are new to the language, and people with cognitive barriers.


Browser compatibility

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See also

  • Use of the element
  • Other elements that convey semantics at the text level:,,, (en-US),,, (en-US),,,, (en-US), (en- US), (en-US), (en-US),,, (en-US), (en-US), (en-US), (en-US),, (en-US),, (en-US).
  • The obsolete item whose responsibilities have been grouped into