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The cite element represents a reference to a creative work.

Overview Table

DOM Interface

The cite element represents a reference to a creative work. The title of the work or the name of the author (e.g. a person or organization) or a reference to a URL must be enclosed between the opening and closing tags.


This example uses the cite element to render a citation in italic type.

<p>One of my favorite books from literature is
<cite>Invisible Man</cite> by Ralph Ellison.</p>


 The cite element is a phrasing-level element. It must not contain block-level elements, but it can contain other phrasing-level elements.


Prior to HTML5, cite was also used to indicate the source of a quote (e.g. blockquote or q).

Creative works include a book, a paper, an essay, a poem, a score, a song, a script, a film, a TV show, a game, a sculpture, a painting, a theatre production, a play, an opera, a musical, an exhibition, a legal case report, a computer program, a web site, a web page, a blog post or comment, a forum post or comment, a tweet, a written or oral statement, etc.

Related specifications

HTML 5.1
W3C Working Draft
W3C Recommendation
HTML 4.01
W3C Recommendation

See also

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